10 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea
With trends in caffeination constantly changing, it feels good to have options. Millions of people around the world start their day with a traditional cup of coffee or tea. Lattes, matcha beverages and energy drinks round out this list. It seems like if there were any other alternatives they would be too strange, too expensive or too impractical to try...until Yerba Mate.
What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is extremely popular in South America and is beloved for offering the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate. The beverage is derived from the dried leaves of the South American holly, also known as Ilex paraguariensis. Although the plant is native and wildly grown, due to the newfound popularity of Yerba Mate, it is now grown commercially.
Liken to the importance of Japan's tea culture, drinking yerba mate is oftentimes a social event befitting of traditional tea ceremonies. Sharing the drink from a gourd and bombilla (pronounced bohm-bee-shah in Argentina) is considered a symbol of friendship, and is shared often as the national beverage of Argentina.
The taste can be compared to an herbal/grassy flavor, similar to some more astringent (a cooling feeling caused by naturally occurring tannins) green teas. Though not for everyone, yerba mate is wildly increasing in popularity not only for its impressive caffeine kick but also for its veritable array of health benefits.
Here are 10 of the most intriguing health benefits of Yerba Mate.
Yerba Mate Delivers A Strikingly Balanced Energy Boost
Unlike other common stimulants found in our early morning pick-me-ups, yerba mate delivers a gentle and even energizing effect. If you are looking for a refreshing way to wake up without the struggle of caffeine jitters, yerba mate is an excellent option. The beverage is also noted for rarely interfering with sleep.
Yerba Mate Is The Perfect Middle Ground
The beverage contains around 85 mg. of caffeine per 8 oz. cup – this falls directly in between a similar cup of brewed tea and coffee. If tea doesn't seem to have enough caffeine and coffee has too much, yerba mate may fit the bill!
Yerba Mate Boosts All Mental Functions
We know that caffeine improves alertness, mental acuity, and memory function. The natural caffeine found in the yerba mate plant boasts these effects and more! In addition to the energy and mood boost from caffeine, yerba mate also contains theobromine and theophylline. These alkaloids work together with naturally induced dopamine to create a mild stimulant effect that differs from the traditional caffeine jolt.
Yerba Mate Is A Nutritional Tour-De-Force
Yerba mate contains just about every nutrient necessary to sustain life. It boasts high concentrations of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B5; vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. The antioxidant punch alone is enough to put yerba mate on the top of your must-try list.
Mate Tea Can Be Used As A Weight Loss Aid
Due to the natural stimulant qualities, yerba mate can help you on your weight loss journey. The boost to your system helps to speed up metabolism while contributing next to nothing calorically. Yerba mate is also known to provide a feeling of fullness, keeping drinkers satiated and less likely to snack.
Drinking Yerba Mate Can Help With Digestion
Helpful metabolic-breakdown compounds such as xanthines, which are found in the popular beverage, are known to relax the muscles, which can be a digestive aid, especially when coping with cramping, constipation, or bloating.
Regular Mate Tea Drinkers Have Stronger Bones
Though caffeine consumption is often associated with loss of bone mineral density, the high mineral content of yerba mate protects against that. Paired with the metabolic boosters and increased energy for exercising.
Daily Consumption Of Mate Tea Can Provide Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
The powerful flavonoids present in yerba mate provide anti-inflammatory properties and have restorative benefits for most chronic inflammatory illnesses.
Try Yerba Mate For Increased Circulation And Cardiovascular Betterment
In addition to the anti-inflammatory benefits for immune health, these properties are also essential in preserving heart health. Theobromine, a compound found in yerba mate, is excellent for increased blood flow. Drinking yerba mate has also been proven to reduce oxidative stress, a condition that can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Shade Grown Mate Provides The Most Power Packed Nutrition
Like the highest-quality coffees, most excellent yerba mate is shade grown and subtropical. The shade-grown crops are known to have the highest nutritional content and are more beneficial as a health food than commercially farmed, sun-grown yerba mate.