It might seem counterintuitive to recommend foods high in salt to aid in the reduction of high blood pressure.

And it’s true that many high-sodium foods are terrible for you. However, it’s not because of the salt, necessarily, that this is so. It’s all because of the other ingredients of a particular food.

Scientists put this idea to the test recently and found that one very salty soup is very beneficial to health and even lowers blood pressure.

What do tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion, vinegar, garlic and olive oil all have in common? Other than each being really good for you separately, they are all ingredients in fresh gazpacho, a very healthy Spanish chilled soup.

The ingredients of this tasty traditional dish can vary from region to region, but basically include all the ingredients above, plus other seasonings- like salt.

Gazpacho is pretty high in salt, no matter how it’s prepared, but the high salt content can’t ruin the tremendous health benefits, says a research group out of Barcelona, Spain.

After looking at the effects on almost 4,000 people studied, the conclusion was that blood pressure could be dropped by more than 25% by including fresh gazpacho regularly in diets.

Each of the ingredients has its own long list of health benefits, and the fact that it’s chilled and not cooked preserves most of them.

Cooking degrades the nutritive value in any food, and gazpacho is served chilled after it’s blended in a food processor. Using fresh, organic ingredients makes it even healthier.

The antioxidant and vitamin benefits of the soup, it is theorized, far outweigh the detrimental effects of the added salt.

Simple Gazpacho Soup Recipe:

1 cucumber, sliced into chunks
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper, any color
2 cloves garlic
1 celery rib, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 sweet onion, quartered
3 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
dash black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except the fresh herbs and process until smooth. Stir in the herbs, refrigerate until cool and serve with bread.

Even more effective method to lower blood pressure: check out these three blood pressure exercises…