15 Promising Health Benefits of the Yerba Mate

"Cheers mate!”, it says. Yerba Mate has been growing in popularity as a brew that brings together the strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.

Yerba Mate, coming from the dried leaves of Evergreen Hollies, is a traditional drink from South America. As it has the strength of coffee, it can give you a more alert mind and an active body. It has can increase your energy gently, making you more awake, like coffee, but without its side effects.

Other than that, Yerba Mate also has a grassy taste like green tea. Not only does it taste like tea, but it can also bring you all the amazing health benefits of tea. And like chocolate, it can excite you with its taste and its surprisingly nutritious content.

Yerba Mate: "The Drink of Friendship"

Popular in the streets of Uruguay and in the households of Argentina, this drink brings people together to celebrate camaraderie. Commonly known as mate, there is a legend about it, which comes from the Guarani people. Years ago, the goddesses of the moon and clouds came down to earth to take a stroll in the forests. As they rested, they heard a scary loud noise. In a blink, a shot of arrow hit a jaguar in its heart. It was a Guarani who saved these two goddesses from the beast. The two goddesses, in human shape, were saved by an old Guarani. He showed them hospitality by inviting them to his house, where he lived with his wife and kid. Thankful, the moon Goddess Yari, gave the old Guarani a plant which she called 'Yerba mate'. She told the man that it was a drink of friendship.

The Amazing Benefits of Yerba Mate

Studies show that Yerba mate is actually healthier than tea. Want to know why? Check out some of the amazing benefits that Yerba Mate offers:

1. A powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and nutrients

A superfood, you say? Could be! Basically containing the micronutrients sustaining life, mate is loaded with more than all the nutrients you need in a day. Yerba mate, like wheatgrass, also contains chlorophyll. With it alone, you can imagine all the possible benefits it has in store for you. It also contains a high concentration of vitamins A,C, B1, B2, B3,B5, and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc.

2. A traditional medicine

Similar to ketchup, in history, this mate had medicinal purposes - as a stimulant, as a digestive aid, a general nerve tonic for fatigue and depression, as well as for allergies and sinusitis.

3. An immunity booster

Saponins, a natural emulsifier, is present in it, which helps boost your immunity. It is also 90% richer in antioxidants than tea. Mate is also anti-inflammatory. And studies show that it can also treat bladder infections.

4. A waist trimmer

With a cup of Yerba mate tea, you can naturally lose weight without visiting a gym. Mate may reduce your appetite, however, it can boost your metabolism.

5. A shield against infections

Studies show that mate may have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasital properties. In an isolated study, the use of the mate extract was able to deactivate the E.coli bacteria, which is responsible for food poisoning. It was also said that it may somehow prevent one from getting skin rashes and dandruff.

6. A smart heart

Containing caffeoyl derivatives and polyphenols, mate can definitely give you a healthier and smarter heart as it can lower the risk of heart diseases. Yerba mate, in humans, can lower bad cholesterol levels.  This way, you can do away with many cardiovascular diseases. Mate has all the nutrients needed for  heart growth and repair. In addition, it can also supply oxygen to your heart, giving you more air to go longer with cardio exercises.

7. A stronger bone for you

Even without exercise, mate can strengthen your bones and increase their density. See how it is different from your coffee? The caffeine content of coffee has the tendency to wash away your bone minerals but with mates? It's the total opposite.

8. A digestive tonic

With Yerba Mate, your body is able to produce more bile and soften your stool, thus giving you a smoother digestion. With this, you can say that mates can also treat constipation, diarrhea, and even indigestion. Get a cup of mate early in the morning, and start your day right with regular bowel movement.

9. An energy booster

As mentioned, mate, like coffee, can wake you up and give you enough energy to go through the day. But what makes it different is that a dose of mate's caffeine does not keep you awake even when you badly want to sleep. Yes, mate has caffeine but it's less than coffee has with only 85 mg per 8 ounces.

10. A smarter you

Whether you need to pass an exam or make an important report, mate can help you with boost your mental health. Besides caffeine, mate contains two other compounds - theobromine and theophylline. These three result in improved mental capacity. Now you have a clearer and more focused mind.  

11. A strengthened endurance

Yerba mate can be an athlete's best friend as it has the ability to enhance physical stamina. It’s caffeine content can improve your physical performance with up to 5%. Moreover, mate can reduce fatigue. And where does all this energy come from? Mats increase your reliance on fat for fuel, thus giving you the stamina to go for high-intensity exercises.    

12. A sugar control

When the formation of Advanced glycation end-product is complete, you can age quickly or worse, you will suffer many diseases, like diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic renal failure, and Alzheimer's disease. But mate may have the capacity to prevent these. In animals, yerba mate can improve insulin signaling, thus lowering blood sugar levels. However, this claim needs more research as to how it may be of help to humans.  

13. A good lullaby

Remember Charles Darwin, the man who studied the evolution of species? Darwin quoted in his Voyage of the Beagle that, “We arrived at camp during the night, and after drinking a lot of Yerba mate, I prepared to go to sleep. I was surprised to discover that my sleep was very deep and refreshing, Although the wind was very strong and the night was chilly, I never slept more comfortable”. We can say that mate can give you a deeper, better sleep.  

14. A catcher for cravings

Proven by its historical use and medical research, mate can control hunger cravings. The good thing about mate is that it welcomes more body nutrient essentials than your juice drinks, although smoothies can be a good drink for losing weight too. Mate is said to be a great way to lose weight without experiencing the stress of hunger.  

15. An ace against cancer

This might sound a bit controversial as there are some claims that mate may cause some kinds of cancer like cancer of the esophagus, lungs, mouth, pharynx, and larynx. But evidence shows that these types of cancer may occur if the mate is often consumed hot - just as any drink consumed scalding hot may lead to these cancers. Studies prove that mate can fight cancer as it contains several known anti-cancer compounds such as saponins, ursolic acid, and chlorophyll.

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