I was first introduced to yerba mate tea while watching a favorites video by natural hair and beauty blogger African Export. Prior to watching her video, I had never heard of it, and everyone I asked had never heard of it either. Most of us are familiar with the health benefits of green tea, but yerba mate is sort of nature’s best kept secret.
Yerba mate tea is a South American beverage made by steeping the ground leaves and stems of the yerba mate plant. Yerba mate is a natural source of caffeine, but it also contains a number of other nutrients, including antioxidants, amino acids, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the benefits of drinking yerba mate tea.
Rich in Antioxidants. Yerba mate tea is very high in antioxidants; it’s got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea. This is one of the main reasons I decided to drink yerba mate instead of green tea on a daily basis. Yerba mate has significant immune boosting properties. It can slow the signs of aging, detoxify the blood and prevent many types of cancer. Yerba mate also helps reduce stress and insomnia. All scores in my book!
Enhances Your Ability to Focus. Users report increased mental energy, clarity and focus, but they also say that yerba mate doesn’t cause any of the uncomfortable side effects associated with drinking caffeinated beverages, such as headaches, stomachaches and jitters. While most of my co-workers will not talk to you until they’ve had their first cup of coffee, I say don’t talk to me until I’ve had my yerba mate!
Enhances Physical Endurance. The chemical compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently. This means you’ll get more energy from the food you eat. You’ll also burn more of the calories your body has stored in fat cells as fuel when you drink yerba mate tea regularly. Regular yerba mate consumption also helps keep lactic acid from building up in your muscles so you can decrease post workout soreness and cut your recovery time.
Aids Digestion. Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. Yerba mate helps keep your colon clean for effective and efficient waste elimination, and helps reduce the stomach bacteria that can contribute to bad breath. I’m not going to go into detail, but let’s just say that I agree with this statement.
Helps You Control Your Weight. Yerba mate has stimulant qualities to help you feel full sooner after you begin eating, and it slows your digestion so that your stomach stays full longer. Combining yerba mate with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories, and it can help you eat less by curbing your appetite slightly. Again, this was music to my ears – and I can attest to the fact that it really does curb your appetite. I find that when I drink yerba mate throughout the day, I’m not as hungry and tend to eat less which is great when trying to restrict your calorie intake.
Supports Cardiovascular Health. The antioxidants and amino acids present in yerba mate help fat and cholesterol move through your bloodstream so that they don’t accumulate on artery walls. Yerba mate also helps prevent hardening of the arteries and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke. I have hereditary high cholesterol, so this is another reason I get my yerba mate on.
So the next time you are in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or your local health food store, grab some yerba mate tea bags and give this healthy alternative to coffee and green tea a try.