Hypertension is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and disability in both developed and developing countries, affecting one-quarter of the world's adult population. Our aim was to evaluate whether the consumption of gazpacho, a Mediterranean vegetable-based cold soup rich in phytochemicals, is associated with lower blood pressure (BP) and/or reduced prevalence of hypertension in individuals at high cardiovascular risk.
We selected 3995 individuals (58% women, mean age 67 y) at high cardiovascular risk (81% hypertensive) recruited into the PREDIMED study. BP, weight, and dietary and physical activity data were collected. In multivariate linear regression analyses, after adjustment, moderate and high gazpacho consumption categories were associated with reduced mean systolic BP of -1.9 mm Hg [95% confidence interval (CI): -3.4; -0.6] and -2.6 mm Hg (CI: -4.2; -1.0), respectively, and reduced diastolic BP of -1.5 mm Hg (CI: -2.3; -0.6) and -1.9 mm Hg (CI: -2.8; -1.1). By multiple-adjusted logistic regression analysis, gazpacho consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, with OR = 0.85 (CI: 0.73; 0.99) for each 250 g/week increase and OR = 0.73 (CI: 0.55; 0.98) for high gazpacho consumption groups compared to the no-consumption group.
Gazpacho consumption was inversely associated with systolic and diastolic BP and prevalence of hypertension in a cross-sectional Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. The association between gazpacho intake and reduction of BP is probably due to synergy among several bioactive compounds present in the vegetable ingredients used to make the recipe.