Yerba mate is one of those things that has been around for hundreds of years and is now coming to the attention of the public thanks to its apparently incredible health benefits. It is commonly consumed in the form of a herbal infusion, and has been likened to green tea in its flavor and health-boosting qualities.
Originally consumed by the native people of South America, where it was first discovered, there appear to be a few particularly interesting health benefits in this concoction.
20 Vitamins and Minerals
Yes, it is packed with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which is important for the growth and maintenance of the body. Magnesium and manganese help to keep your bones strong and also regulate blood sugar levels, which can offset the craving for sugary treats. Vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E are all present in yerba mate and these are all essential for good health.
Possibly the biggest difference between yerba mate and other similar herbal drinks, is its caffeine content. It can contain around the same levels as a regular cup of coffee, but with the added bonus of having none of the side effects that some people can experience after one cup of coffee too many. Jittery nerves and an upset stomach are a thing of the past with yerba mate.
As well as caffeine, the drink also contains the compounds theobromine, xanthine, and theophylline, which also act as stimulants.
Yerba mate has traditionally been used by the people of South America to treat disorders of the digestive tract. Upset stomach, as well as bowel discomfort can be helped by the drink, as studies have shown that it does, in fact, help eliminate toxins from the body and aid the passage of waste through the digestive system.
Helps Sweeten Breath
Another bonus that yerba mate offers is the ability to help to reduce halitosis, or bad breath. Similar to those found in teas, Polyphenols are a kind of antioxidant that is found in certain types of plants, and these have been proven to help hinder the proliferation of the bacteria in the body that is responsible for bad breath. The polyphenols also attack the compounds in the mouth and stomach that cause the nasty odors.
Regulates Nervous system
The combination of the stimulants, vitamins and minerals present in yerba mate have been shown to moderate the central nervous system by calming it if it happens to be over excited, or stimulating it if it is sluggish. It seems to promote a general feeling of well being by providing enhanced alertness and energy levels, which have in turn been linked to the lifting of depression in some users.
Along with the caffeine content, yerba mate has the ability to help the body to efficiently utilize carbohydrates during exercise. This effectively means that more calories are burned while the stimulation effect provides the mental and physical ability to continue the exercise. Due to the increased number of calories that are burned, lactic acid buildup is then delayed, meaning that the body can exercise for longer periods and with more intensity before the burning sensation of the lactic acid makes the activity uncomfortable.