A regular consumption of gazpacho can contribute to reduce hypertension, according to a scientific study published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, by the researcher Alexander Medina-Remón, from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Food and Nutrition Torribera Campus of the UB, as its main author.
Hypertension is a major public health problem, it affects about 25 % of the adult population. It is also the main risk factor of myocardial or cerebral infarction, which is a leading cause of death in western population. This new publication has analysed the effect of gazpacho consumption in 3,995 individuals of the study PREDIMED, which analyses the effects of Mediterranean diet on the population at high cardiovascular risk to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
To improve diet, to improve health
“Previous clinical and epidemiological studies associate the consumption of gazpacho’s main ingredients (tomato, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, etc.) with an arterial pressure reduction”, explains Alexander Medina-Remón. “This new scientific study”, he continues, “states for the first time that a regular consumption of gazpacho is as beneficial as the consumption of its ingredients individually; so gazpacho can reduce hypertension”.
According to the professor Rosa M. Lamuela, in charge of the Research Group on Natural Antioxidant of the UB and coordinator of the study, the protecting effect of gazpacho on arterial pressure has been a finding “an unexpected one, as it contains salt, one of the restricted ingredients to maintain arterial pressure levels. Despite this, the results of the study describe that arterial pressure of gazpacho consumers is lower than the one of non-consumers. The reason may be that bioactive elements of gazpacho counteract the effect of salt ingestion”.
Carotenes, vitamin C and polyphenols
How can these results about gazpacho consumption be explained? According to the researcher Alexander Medina-Remón, “Gazpacho highly contains carotenes, vitamin C and polyphenols. The final balance of the bioactive elements of gazpacho and its salt content makes it to be cardio-healthy; in other words, at the end, the positive effect of all the ingredients that contribute to the reduction of arterial pressure prevails over salt’s effect”.
Experts have also used statistical techniques of logistic regression to know to what extent the consumption of gazpacho can reduce the risk of suffering hypertension. As Medina-Remón remarks, “the risk could be reduced up to 27 % in some profiles of consumers”.