Yerba mate is a traditional South American brew that is well known for providing the “strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, and enjoyment of chocolate”. Despite containing less caffeine, this now-popular drink contains a good amount of nutrients and can provide you with the energy needed to get going with your day. In this post, we explore the tremendous mental & physical health benefits of yerba mate tea.
1. How is Yerba Mate Tea Made?
Yerba mate tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. The leaves of the plant are dried over fire and then steeped in hot water to make the tea. This drink is traditionally served in a gourd and sipped with a metal straw that has a filter at its lower end to strain out what’s left of the leaves. It’s believed that sharing it from the gourd is a sign of friendship and bonding.
2. Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate can provide numerous mental & physical health benefits due to its constituents. It not only increases your energy but also boosts your mental functions and immune system. Here are all the good things you get out of this drink.
Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea #1: Smoothly Increases your Energy
Yerba mate drinkers report experiencing a state of alert wakefulness as it contains a moderate amount of caffeine. However, they describe mate as being an energy boost that’s more gentle, clean, and calm in comparison to coffee. Since mate contains caffeine, it will likely improve muscle contraction, reduce fatigue, increase energy and improve sports performance. This drink is also said to only rarely interfere with sleep and doesn’t cause caffeine jitters
Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea #2: Boosts your Mental Functions
Yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine which is known to have positive effects on memory, mood, and alertness. It increases motivation and productivity by stimulating the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is beneficial for your mental focus. The drink also contains theobromine and theophylline which provide stimulant effects and optimize mental performance. The good thing about it is that, unlike coffee, you will not experience a “crash” after consuming it.
Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea #3: Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients
The antioxidant properties of this drink seem to exceed those of green tea. In fact, it contains Xanthines, Caffeoyl Derivatives, Saponins, and Polyphenols. Each of these plant nutrients promotes health in different ways such as providing anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and disease-risk-reduction properties. It also provides a large variety of vitamins and minerals in small quantities such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, and much more.
Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea #4: Boosts your Immune System
Yerba mate contains saponins, a natural emulsifier that boosts the immune system. It is a natural component with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As previously mentioned, this drink is also made of polyphenols which are strong antioxidants that can also offer protection against certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, these plant-based components modulate the overactive immune response that contributes to seasonal allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. However, researchers have not yet investigated the direct effects of yerba mate on the human immune system and we seriously hope they do!
Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea #5: Helps you Lose Weight
There is evidence that yerba mate can reduce appetite and increase your energy thus making you more physically active. Moreover, yerba mate can improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, and burn stored fat. When combined, these properties make this drink a beverage that can aid in losing weight.
3. Safety & Side Effects of Yerba Mate Consumption
Yerba mate is unlikely to cause any harm to healthy adults who drink it occasionally. Despite the mental & physical health benefits of yerba mate, the drink could have negative long-lasting effects if heavily consumed. Such effects include cancer, caffeine-Related side effects, and even a laxative effect. In addition, yerba mate can interfere with several medications and they should not be mixed. If you take medication to treat heart disease, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, or any drugs that work by stimulating the nervous system, you should avoid yerba mate. If you are unsure about it, you can refer to your nutritionist or doctor.
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