Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is a South American rainforest holly tree, the leaves of which are used to make the drink known as yerba mate tea or mate. Mate has been traditionally consumed for centuries in central and southern South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Southern Chile as a communal drink and also for its rejuvenative effects.
Yerba mate, rich in caffeine but also of excellent nutritional value, is known to offer the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one beverage.
It is often used as a coffee substitute and in energy drinks. The infusion has been claimed to have various health benefits, all attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in it. In this post, I will introduce you to 9 remarkable health benefits of drinking yerba mate tea.
- Antioxidant Powerhouse
Yerba mate tea is an abundant source of antioxidants, containing 90% more antioxidants than green tea. It also naturally contains 24 vitamins (A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex) and minerals (Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc) and 15 amino acids. As a result of all these nutrients, drinking mate can slow down the aging process and boost your immune system while preventing several types of cancer.
- Supports Cardiovascular Health
Even though yerba mate tea can raise your heart rate if you are caffeine sensitive, consuming it regularly may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants and amino acids found in it help prevent fat and cholesterol from accumulating on artery walls by helping them move through your bloodstream. It also helps prevent arteriosclerosis and blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke.
- Improves Digestion
Mate tea has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for digestive issues for centuries by the native South American people. It can aid digestion by stimulating production of bile and other gastric acids. If you suffer from an upset stomach or occasional constipation then some yerba mate would effectively treat it since it also helps keep colon clean for effective waste elimination and it reduces stomach bacteria.
Drinking Yerba mate tea can aid in weight loss and weight control. It has the ability to help you feel fuller after your begin eating by suppressing your appetite and slowing down your digestion so that your stomach feels full longer. Also, a stimulant found in the tea called mateine can boost your metabolism and help you burn more body fat. If you are looking to maintain healthy body weight you should look no further. Combining mate with a healthy diet and exercise will help you burn calories and eat less.
- Prevents Diabetes
According to a study in Journal of American College of Nutrition, drinking Yerba mate may minimize the risk and possibly stop progression of diabetes. Mate tea consumption can improve the glycemic control and lipid profile of diabetes mellitus type 2 subjects, and when combined with a healthy diet can be highly effective in decreasing serum lipid parameters of pre-diabetes patients which can reduce their risk of developing coronary disease.
- Boosts Energy Levels
In addition to its weight loss benefits, yerba mate tea is also a powerful energy booster. Just like coffee, having a cup of yerba mate tea before your workout is great for increasing physical endurance and getting more energy to exercise longer while stimulating your central nervous system and fighting fatigue. Also, mate is known to prevent building up of lactic acid in your muscles so that makes it the perfect post work out drink to get rid of soreness and speed up recovery.
- Enhances Focus Ability
Yerba mate tea is rich in caffeine but the effect of it is perfectly balanced with all the precious nutrients found in it. That makes it an effective stimulant that can help you increase mental clarity, energy and focus while there are users associating mate consumption to mood improvement and stress reduction. Moreover, yerba mate is not oily and acid forming like coffee, so it is less likely to cause stomach acid and jitters.
- Boosts Immune System
Yerba mate tea is abundant in antioxidants and vitamins that can strengthen your immune system which in return helps protect your overall health. When flu season comes, make sure you have a daily cup to protect yourself against colds and other common diseases. During allergy season, yerba mate is also a great addition to your diet since it can alleviate allergy symptoms or prevent them. Youcanlearn more about how mate can help with allergies here.
- Fights Bad Breath
Bad breath is a common problem among many adults but they would be relieved to know that yerba mate tea can help fight it. Mate contains polyphenols that prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth but also stomach bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Yerba mate tea has a smoky flavor resembling that of green tea. The traditional way of its preparation involves its steeping and serving in a hollow calabash gourd (mate) and drunk through a metal straw called a bombilla (pronounced bome-bee-ja). You can simply make your own mate tea in the same way as with any other tea but it can also be found in teabags.
Are you interested in trying some yerba mate tea?
caution: Yerba mate tea has multiple health benefits to offer that deserve our attention but if consumed in excessive amounts can increase your risk of liver disease. Also drinking this type of tea may not be suitable for people who have a sensitivity to caffeine as it may increase heart rate. Always consult your physician when considering adding an herb or tea to your diet.