It shares similar health benefits with tea, is as strong as coffee, and is as fun as chocolate.
In this article, we discuss the top 7 health benefits of Yerba mate backed by science.
Yerba mate is an herbal tea produced from the twigs and leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant.
The leaves of the yerba mate are dried over a fire and steeped in hot water to produce the tea.
Yerba mate is usually consumed from a gourd and sipped with a metal straw. The straw is equipped with a filter at the lower end, which helps to strain the leaf fragments.
It is believed that sharing a drink from this traditional gourd strengthens the bond of friendship.
So, just like other caffeinated beverages or food, it may boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Because yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, drinkers can expect similar benefits regarding physical performance.
Relying heavily on fat for energy during exercise saves your carb reserves for critical high-intensity moments during sporting activities. This could translate into enhanced performance.
Yerba mate prevents infections from parasites, bacteria, and fungi.
Finally, several studies suggest that compounds in yerba mate may protect against intestinal parasites.
It is important to note that research on the direct effects of yerba mate on the immunity of humans is still ongoing.
Yerba mate can lower blood sugar and reduce diabetes complications.
Yerba mate contains polyphenols and caffeoyl derivates, both antioxidant compounds, protecting against heart disease. In addition, animal and cell studies report that the extract of yerba mate may protect against heart disease (21), (22).
Yerba mate has a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans.
In a particular 40-day study, participants were asked to take 11 ounces of yerba mate daily. Results from the study showed that the intake of yerba mate lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by 8.6–13.1% (23).
Yerba mate is usually served in a gourd, also referred to as a calabash.
It is best sipped through a metal straw. There is a filter on the lower end of the metal straw. The filter helps to strain out the leaf fragments.
You’ll fill the bottom third of the calabash with toasted or dried mate leaves, after which you’ll add hot water.
If there’s no calabash handy, you can prepare it in a French press.
The tea is typically served with burnt sugar, milk, or lemon juice. You may top it off with water a couple of times before making a new batch (with fresh leaves, of course).
Yerba is traditionally consumed hot, but you may serve it cold, especially if you’re staying in a hot location.
Have you tried yerba, mate? Let me know in the comments below how you liked it vs. coffee.
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