Health info

why is this meal good for me?

The summer heat is blazing down so it’s time to get the suncream on and the tomatoes out. Don’t toil over a hot hob, chill out with this cool Spanish soup to help you get through those toasty afternoons. Gazpacho is a chilled soup which you can serve immediately if you chuck some ice cubes in. The best thing about this is that there’s a colossal amount of fruit and veg per portion, 5 of your 5 a day in fact! So not only are you keeping cool in the heat, you’re getting your fill of nutrition. 

This helps contribute to the prevention of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). There are 11 million deaths a year in our world down to a poor diet, 10 million of these are due to a suboptimal diet leading to CVD. Consequently, it is one of the most preventable areas in chronic disease, the place where potentially the most lives could be saved. To show just how potent certain areas of diet can be: if everyone in the world changed just three elements of what they eat we could avoid 5 million CVD deaths per year (1). This is eating too much salt, and too few whole grains and fruits. 

With this magnificent munch we’ve made in the video, you can achieve all of these 3 areas if you follow the recipe below and don’t add salt whilst serving it with some whole grain bread. Another benefit of blending the main fruity ingredient in this meal (the tomatoes), is that their anti-oxidant known is lycopene is much more digestible when blended rather than simply chewed (2).

If gazpacho is not for you then fear not, there are other great ways of increasing your fruit consumption. One easy way is to have a piece of fruit after every meal as dessert, once it’s routine you’ll struggle not to hit your 5 a day as 3 of them are automatically munched. Alternatively, nudge theory could be an option. Place any treats in tins that are awkward to open in high up cupboards, whilst placing fruit in a big bowl on show and easily grabbable. The idea is that you increase the likelihood of munching an apple rather than spending 5 minutes trying to prise open a pesky lid. 

Give yourself the best possible chance of living a life free of disease by taking control of what you eat. As Joyce Sunada put it; ‘either make time for wellness or you’ll be forced to make time for illness’.

 
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Recipe

how do i cook it?

Serves: 4 or 8 starter size       Time: 15 minutes             Difficulty: Easy             Keeps: 2 days

 
Munch
  • 2 bell peppers

  • 1kg tomatoes 

  • half a red onion

  • 1 cucumber

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp oregano

To serve: 

  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 spring onion

 

Method 
  1. The best thing about this soup is the simplicity, just roughly chopped all the fruits and veggies and add to a blender with all the other ingredients.

  2. If serving immediately, blend with some ice cubes. Otherwise, chill overnight or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.

  3. Optional: add in a couple of slices of stale whole-grain bread to round off the flavour. 

  4. Top with toasted seeds, fresh cracked blacked pepper and some extra virgin olive oil. 

  5. Serve with your favourite whole grain bread. 

 

Evidence

where is the science from?

1) Afshin, A. et al. 2019. Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.


2) KR Moelants, L Lemmens, M Vandebroeck, S Van Buggenhout, AM Van Loey, ME Hendrickx. Relation between particle size and carotenoid bioaccessibility in carrot- and tomato-derived suspensions. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Dec 5;60(48):11995-2003.

 
Image by Mike Dorner