Yerba Mate Tea
If you have ever travelled to South America, you will see yerba mate tea being drunk by almost everyone.
Chances are, you may have even drunk this amazing tea, but do know it is one of the healthiest teas you can drink?
Really – the health benefits makes this one of our favorite speciality teas!
I first came across Yerba Mate Tea 15 years ago, when I lived for a year in Magical Brazil.
I have to admit, at first I thought it had a very acquired taste, slightly ‘smokey and almost earthy’.
However, I quickly got used to it and started to like the taste, especially with a hint of cinnamon or a little honey!
In fact I liked this tea so much that I have now swapped it for my daily cup of coffee (coffee gave me stomach pains!)
Yerba Mate Tea – Where does it come from?
It is found primarily in South America, namely, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Mate comes from the Guarani Indian word gourd, referring to the hollowed out gourds tribes once used as cups to drink the tea, through a silver straw called a bombilla (see image)
Drinking Yerba Mate with a gourd and bombilla
Drinking and sharing it from a gourd was seen as a sign of friendship and bonding by the natives.
What is Yerba Mate made of?
So what is this miraculous herbal tea made of ?
The South American tea is made of the dried leaves and stems of a native Holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis) and has bright red berries and shiny green leaves.
The leaves undergo several stages of processing before it reaches the consumer. This involves blanching, drying, and generally aging of the tea
Mate goes through very little fermentation and the blanching process that deactivates enzymes, that is, polyphenol oxidase. Mate tea leaves are flash heated over open flame.
The major difference between green, black tea and mate tea production is the drying method. Mate tea is dried very slowly and often using wood smoke, hence the ‘smoky, earthy’ taste
The beverage is made by steeping the dried leaves and stems and has been used for centuries as a health tonic, stimulant and for the rejuvenating effects.
8 Reasons Why Yerba Mate Tea Is Good For You
So what exactly is all the fuss about?
Yerba Mate Tea contains antioxidants, stimulates the body and mind, acts as a diuretic, boosts metabolism and is believed to alleviate fatigue as well as aiding with weight loss.
Anyone wanting the same effects of coffee, the health benefits of herbal tea and the euphoria of chocolate – you got it! Yerba Mate, and all in one beverage.
Let me explain:
Here are 8 amazing health benefits of drinking yerba mate tea
1) An Antioxidant Powerhouse – Yerba mate contains healthy antioxidants and is used in South America used to reduce inflammation in arthritis and gout. Containing almost so many active compounds, nutrients, and amino acids, mate tea is rich in phenolics and saponins with potential lipid-lowering properties and has cholesterol-lowering potential. The tea leaves naturally contain 24 vitamins (e.g vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B-complex), minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded “this plant contains almost all the nutrients necessary to sustain life”. This is all good news, as antioxidants can contribute to slowing down the aging process, detoxify the blood and reduce stress and insomnia.
2) Nutritious – Yerba mate is more nutritious than green tea. Apparently it has higher polyphenol and antioxidant counts than both green and black teas. The caffeine content is somewhere in between that of green tea and coffee but tastes less bitter than green tea. Unlike coffee, yerba mate is not oily and acid forming, so easier and less acid on the stomach.
3) Mental function booster – As yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, the benefits of caffeine are known to enhance your memory, mood, alertness, physical tiredness and even depression. But besides caffeine, the tea contains two other compounds- theobromine and theophylline. The three alkaloids work together to provide this stimulant effect.
4) Diuretic – Mate tea is known to be mildly diuretic, which decreases water retention in the body.
5) Excellent natural remedy for constipation – Often paired with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Diverticulitis.
6) Diabetes – Research suggests that drinking yerba mate tea up to three times daily (for 2 months) can potentially lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. It controls your blood glucose.
7) Diet/Weight Loss – Drinking yerba mate herbal teas as part of a diet for weight loss is one of the best ways to reduce calorie intake while consuming a healthy beverage. Unlike diet soda, herbal diet tea contains no chemicals and artificial sweeteners. In addition, in an article by Dr. Oz, it ‘contains the fat-fighting compound mateine, which gives you a metabolism and energy boost. Known as a cravings-killer, it saves you from consuming empty calories you’d normally reach for’ and help you feel fuller sooner.
8) Aids Digestion – Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. It can help in reducing stomach bacteria and keep your colon clean for effective waste elimination. By reducing bacteria and acid in your stomach you avoid bad breath.
Yerba mate is very versatile and can be prepared a variety of ways. It can be consumed hot, cold, served with or without milk, add a little cinnamon or honey or served with lemon and mint, the combinations are endless.
Not only is this one of the best ways to reduce calorie intake while consuming a healthy beverage, it also controls blood glucose, increases metabolism (you may lose a few pounds too) and offers antioxidant protection.
With mate tea gaining in popularity in the Western World, it certainly gets the thumbs up from us.
In fact, I love the health benefits of Yerba Mate that much, I had to use it in our special Tummy Tea Cleanse teas.
This laxative free, naturally cleansing detox tea that boosts energy whilst aiding digestion and relaxing the gut (and preventing abdominal bloating) is Naturally Good For You.