Dubbed as having the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, it’s no wonder South American’s have been drinking yerba mate tea for centuries.
This wonder drink, which is made from the leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree (Ilex Paraguariensis), contains caffeine, heobromine and theopylline. It’s also the national drink in Paraguay, Uruguay, Southern Brazil and Argentina (where it’s consumed by the truckloads, out doing coffee 6-1).
But besides providing a somewhat euphoric punch, it has the health properties to rival even the greenest of teas!
If the chocolate/coffee/tea analogy didn’t grab you, here are five reasons to switch your regular morning pick-me-up with yerba mate.
Jammed-Packed With Antioxidants
For you green tea drinkers, you’re probably aware that it contains a high number of those good ol’ antioxidants. However, if this is your main reason for drinking green tea, you may be interested to learn that yerba mate contains an impressive 90% more antioxidants than green tea.
It also contains powerful immune boosting properties, detoxifies the blood, reduces stress and insomnia and can prevent different types of cancer. And for those who are concerned with looking good on the outside as well as feeling good on the inside, it can also slow down signs of aging.
Helps With Weight Loss And Digestion
Yerba mate has also attracted a lot of attention because it helps burn calories your body stores in fat cells, when consumed regularly. It also has the benefit of tricking your body into feeling full sooner and it slows down your digestion, thanks to it increasing the production of bile and gastric acids (so you stay fuller longer). The native people of South America have also long drank yerba mate tea to treat stomach upsets as it helps keep your colon clean and reduce stomach bacteria (that can also cause bad breath).
Aids Memory And Concentration Levels
The high volume of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and polphenols found in yerba mate tea has a balancing effect on the caffeine, which is why it doesn’t give you any of the nasty side-effects that caffeine does (such as stomach upsets, headaches or that jittery feeling). Studies have also shown that it increases mental energy, clarity and aids memory and concentration.
Increases Physical Endurance
For those scared of carbohydrates, it’s said that yerba mate affects your metabolism in such a way that your body uses them more efficiently so you get more energy from your food. It also helps to reduce post-workout soreness and reduces your recovery time as it prevents lactic acid building up in your muscles.
It’s Good For Your Heart
The high number of antioxidants and amino acids found in yerba mate helps push along fat and cholesterol so they don’t store in your arteries, also helping to prevent the hardening of arteries and blood clots – which is of course good news, and these can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
And lastly, it can be prepared in a number of ways, such as using a tea infuser, coffee machine or an espresso maker, and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Bottoms-up!
Have you cottoned-on to the yerba mate benefits? Tell us how you long you’ve been drinking it for, and of any health benefits you’ve experienced as a result.