While a cup of piping hot coffee is the preferred beverage for people in most parts of the world, South Americans start their day with yerba mate!
What is Yerba Mate?
This potent healthy drink is the finished product obtained from shredding and drying the leaves and young twigs of the indigenous holly tree species, ilex paraguarensis, commonly found in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Studies reveal a long list of health benefits of yerba mate. From mental focus, enhanced physical performance to lowering blood sugar levels, it truly lives up to its nickname: Drink of the Gods.
1. Rich source of antioxidants
A single serving of yerba mate boasts high levels of antioxidants that deliver a host of wellness benefits. According to a study conducted by Dr. Elvira de Mejia from the University of Illinois, there is solid proof that it contains more antioxidants than green tea. It has 100-fold higher amounts of antioxidants that mitigate oxidative stress.
2. Mental clarity and focus
According to a study by Kawakani and Kobayashi (1991), yerba mate contains up to 196 beneficial compounds that work synergistically to de-fog the mind, enhance mental focus, and deliver a greater sense of wellbeing.
Although its caffeine concentration is less than that found in coffee, it offers just the right amount of energy minus the jitters and other negative effects of caffeine.
3. Potent shield against infections
The combination of plant nutrients and minerals found in yerba mate delivers anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal benefits. Studies reveal that high concentrations extract can kill E. coli, a bacteria that is a common cause of food poisoning.
In addition, its antiparasitic properties eliminate intestinal parasites causing diarrhea, nutrient malabsorption, vomiting, and many more.
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4. Enhanced immune system functioning
Saponins, a group of bitter compounds in yerba mate, are renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Ideal concentrations of saponins stimulate the production of T-cells and contribute to the efficient elimination of oxidative stress in the body resulting in enhanced immune system functioning.
Additionally, it contains vitamins C and E and selenium and zinc that are known to boost immune system health.
5. Improved cardiovascular health
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, regular consumption of yerba mate, whether hot or cold, reduces bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels in patients being treated with statin medications.
Yerba mate intake among individuals with high cholesterol levels exhibited lowered bad cholesterol (LDL) levels by 8.1% to 8.6%. Furthermore, evidence suggests that it has protective effects on cardiovascular health, evidenced by a 2.3% reduction of systolic blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
6. Promote healthy blood sugar levels
Studies reveal that regular intake of this drink can positively affect blood glucose levels. The beneficial compounds inherent in yerba mate effectively control the glycemic index and blood sugar levels throughout the day in patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.
7. Excellent weight loss aid
While yerba mate is not marketed as a natural fat burner, it has been proven to aid in weight loss due to its potent thermogenic effects. Supplementing your daily diet with this South American beverage turns up the body’s calorie-burning mechanism.
It is also known as an effective appetite suppressing agent. The thermogenic effect and appetite suppressing qualities of yerba mate contribute to a safe and successful weight loss of up to 0.5 kg per week.
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With all these health benefits, we are confident that you are going to give this South American drink a try. You won’t regret it!