I still remember the first time I had gazpacho soup. My mother had taken me to a restaurant in Manchester, Vermont and suggested I try the soup. The reason I remember it so vividly is probably due to the shock of that first bite. Up until that moment the soups I had eaten were hot. My mother hadn’t told me to expect a cold soup. Surprise!
Now, 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 University of Barcelona states that regular consumption of gazpacho can contribute to a reduction in hypertension. As you’re probably (or should be) aware, hypertension is one of the major risk factors for heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. The American Heart Association (AHA) considers hypertension or high blood pressure as a “major risk factor”, but one that you can modify by taking medication and/or a change in lifestyle.
But doesn’t it have salt in it?
This beneficial effect of consuming gazpacho is true despite the fact that it contains salt. We all know that salt is a no-no because studies have shown that it increases blood pressure. According to the study it appears that the positive effects of gazpacho’s main ingredients (cucumbers, garlic, tomato, and olive oil) may counteract the effects of ingesting the salt. Great news…
Gazpacho also contains lots of vitamin C, carotene, and polyphenols.
A Great Recipe and Tools
The following recipe was adapted from one available on Allrecipes.com:
4 cups tomato juice – I recommend Campbell’s Tomato Jce Low Sodium – 8 Pack
1 onion, minced
1 cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 green onions, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Simply put all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender and process until smooth, but still chunky. Chill in the refrigerator a couple of hours – and enjoy.
One of the tools I bought during my recovery, as part of eating a heart-healthy diet and getting away from processed foods, was a Cuisinart food processor. I use it all the time to make a number of different recipes. It worked great while making this gazpacho. If you’d like to purchase one from Amazon.com, click on the image below.
Category: Food and Diet