Yerba Mate, otherwise known as mate, is a growing trend in the tea world. This powerful drink is made from the leaves and stems of a tree that is native to the rainforest of South America and boasts more antioxidants than green tea. It is also said to offer those who drink it a smoother buzz than coffee. So, is yerba mate really better for you than coffee?
What is Yerba Mate?
World-class athletes and celebrities alike have ditched their morning coffee for a cup of this legendary vitality drink that is used in ancient South American rituals. Traditionally served in gourds and sipped through filtered metal straws, yerba mate naturally contains 24 vitamins and mineral, 15 amino acids, and a host of antioxidants.
Benefits of Yerba Mate
Mate’s host of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids provide more nutrients than green tea, making it known in South America is the ‘liquid vegetable’.
Studies have shown that this powerful herb is effective in weight loss by delaying gastric emptying and reducing the time it normally takes to achieve gastric fullness. Essentially, it makes you feel full longer and slows your digestion.
Furthermore, labs tests suggest that yerba mate reduces oxidative stress on the heart and liver cells. It also has shown to protect DNA from damaging yeast cells and destroy human cancer cells in the liver. When tested in rats, this herb improved the flow of blood through blood vessels and significantly reduced fat accumulation.
Mate contains a considerably lower amount of caffeine than coffee (80 milligrams vs. 200 milligrams). However, mate is comprised of 2 other xanthine alkaloids: theobromine (provides the euphoric sensation found in chocolate) and theophylline (a stimulant found in green tea). The combination of the three stimulants is thought to be the reason why mate generates a smoother, less jittery and longer sustaining energy than coffee.
Yerba Mate vs. Coffee?
Coffee boasts powerful agents that suggest it has the ability to reduce the risk of diabetes by single digits and decrease your chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. It also reduces your risk of developing gallstones and colon cancer, and staves off the harmful effects of other vices such as drinking alcohol and smoking.
However, mate is a great alternative to those with caffeine sensitivity, or who are looking for a boost of antioxidants and vitamins.
Things to Consider
Like any product, drink mate in moderation. Most studies favor on the beneficial side of mate, but it still carries some risks if consumed in large amounts. In South America, many people consume large amounts of mate and have shown a greater risk for developing respiratory and digestive related cancers.
Adding a cup of yerba mate to your daily diet will offer you a wide array of benefits. You may not be ready to give up your savory dark roast coffee completely, but this smoky, woody flavored tea certainly may make its way into your tea cabinet.