If you’ve heard about or seen yerba mate tea before and aren’t sure what the health benefits of it are or the best yerba mate tea brand, this article will be perfect for you!
Yerba mate is a traditional South American tea that offers the strength of a cup of coffee, the euphoria of chocolate, and its own blend of unique health benefits.
I have been drinking yerba mate for years and I absolutely love it.
Yerba mate tea is produced from the dried leaves of a native plant of South America― the evergreen holly (Ilex paraguariensis), and it is one of several Amazonian caffeine-containing plants that are used in preparing stimulating beverages, such as this.
Although this plant can be found in the wild, it is also well-cultivated on tea plantations.
Yerba mate is similar to other types of tea, although being cultivated from a distinctly different plant.
When yerba mate is brewed it has a greenish color and an earthy herbal aroma.
The brewed yerba mate tea has a mild flavor, which is oftentimes described as an infusion of herbs and grass just like some varieties of green tea.
Yerba mate contains tannins and caffeine just like black tea, however, it is less astringent than black tea.
Popularly known as the “drink of the gods” by several indigenous South American cultures, yerba mate was regarded as “the green gold of the Indios” by the European settlers who came to this part of the world hundreds of years ago.
Well, yerba mate tea is the drink for you!
Keep reading below to learn the health benefits of yerba mate and see the best yerba mate brand!
Yerba Mate Tea Health Benefits
In 1964, the Pasteur Institute discovered that yerba mate contains all of the vitamins that are essential to sustain life.
Unbelievable, a little.
Yerba mate is truly amazing for your body, sp let’s take a look at some of the main health benefits of yerba mate tea:
Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea for Weight Loss
There are tons of health benefits of yerba mate but one of the benefits that most people are interested in is that yerba mate is a great weight loss drink.
For those of you who are working your hardest to build an aesthetic body, you will certainly appreciate that you can drink yerba mate for weight loss
The ingestion of yerba mate has shown to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure during exercise.
According to a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism,
“Acute yerba mate (YM) ingestion augments the exercise dependent increase in fatty acid oxidation and energy expenditure derived from fatty acid oxidation at submaximal exercise intensities without negatively affecting maximal exercise performance, suggesting a potential role for YM ingestion to increase the exercise effectiveness for weight loss and sports performance.”
Furthermore, the effects suggest a glycogen sparing potential for exercise performance, which would insinuate that yerba can help you sustain a longer workout!
In other words, drinking yerba mate before a workout will help you lose weight, burn fat, and exercise longer.
Another way that yerba mate can help you with weight loss is by promoting muscle recovery, which means you will recover from workouts faster and have less soreness from your workouts.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition,
“Mate tea (MT) intake did not influence muscle strength at all time points assessed but hastened the strength recovery over 24 h after exercise. MT also favoured the concentration of blood antioxidant compounds.”
The study investigated the effect of yerba mate intake on muscle strength recovery and oxidative stress markers after engaging in eccentric exercise, and it was discovered that the consumption of 600 ml of yerba mate improved the rate of recovery of isometric strength by 8.6 percent during the first day!
Most likely, this is because yerba mate helps to increase circulation, calm your body, and promote muscle recovery.
The study also found that the positive effect of yerba mate on muscle recovery was large, and significant, in agreement with reports stating that dietary phytochemical supplementation improved muscle function after exercise-induced muscle damage.
Lastly, drinking yerba mate for weight loss is a smart idea because it is a well-known appetite suppressant. If you drink yerba mate, it is likely you will intake fewer calories throughout your day, which will result in increased weight loss.
Contains Cancer-Fighting Compounds
Based on a 2011 study, it was discovered that yerba mate tea leaves possess both anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Similar to the cancer-fighting components of green tea or oolong tea, it was revealed that the caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives from yerba tea were able to treat human colon cancer successfully!
The scientists found that In vitro cancer cells died when they were exposed to the bioactive compounds present in a cup of yerba mate. Also, cancer cells died due to apoptosis as the scientists increased the CQA concentration.
Specifically, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science,
“diCQAs found in yerba mate could actually be potential anti-cancer agents, and could also mitigate other diseases associated with inflammation.”
To estimate the benefits of this drink, the compounds of yerba mate were compared with other teas such as green tea; which is believed to possess high anti-cancer potential. Yerba mate was actually shown to have the highest cytotoxicity against human liver cancer cells, even when compared to green tea.
Proteasome inhibitors are a very important aspect of cancer research, and a compound found in green tea known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCH) has exhibited the ability to inhibit proteasomes.
However, similar compounds have been discovered in yerba mate, and these compounds show proteasome inhibition as well.
There are other compounds found in yerba that have been studied for their chemopreventive properties as well!
Two of the compounds that show distinct cytotoxicity to HepG2 cells are quercetin and rutin.
Studies have shown that these compounds are found in small concentrations in yerba mate, and they exhibit the diversity of flavonoids that are present and greatly contribute to its anti-cancer potential.
Improves Your Heart Health
Among the yerba mate tea health benefits is its positive effect in treating several heart-related conditions; such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and low blood pressure.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of yerba help to protect the heart, and the cardiovascular system.
Yerba also contains theobromine, which helps to relax the blood vessels and allow for better blood flow.
Acts As a Great Digestive System Booster
One of the great yerba mate benefits is that it is used traditionally in the treatment of diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion! Next time you have a severe stomach ache, reach for this natural drink instead of Tums or Pepto Bismal!
Yerba also has a natural antibacterial effect against E. coli, which is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.
Along with this, yerba mate is very useful not just for the prevention of urinary tract infections, but also for the treatment of both urinary infections, and bladder and kidney stones.
Improves Your Immune System
Apart from the polyphenols in yerba leaves, it also contains saponins; a class of chemical compounds found naturally abundant in several plant species. Saponins are bitter and highly soluble compounds that are believed to be among the factors behind the distinct flavor of yerba mate tea.
Saponins have beneficial effects on bone health, blood cholesterol levels, and cancer.
Saponins have been found to stimulate the human immune system, which aids the body in protecting against diseases. Frequent intake of yerba tea is a great way to increase your intake of phytochemicals and by proxy, phytonutrients.
Contains a Wide Variety of Nutrients
As we have mentioned a few times, one important aspect of yerba mate compared with other drinks is that it is that it’s loaded with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
In fact, it contains practically all the important micronutrients needed to sustain life!
The following vitamins can be obtained in high concentrations from each serving:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B,5
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Some of the minerals that are contained in high concentrations in yerba are:
These are all of special interest to us due to their importance in human metabolism, and the development of a healthy life.
Yerba mate not only contains 11 polyphenols but also exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea on the planet!
You can find other health-promoting compounds in yerba including:
- Healthy fatty acids
- Various trace minerals
- 15 or more different amino acids
Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels
The consumption of yerba tea according to studies has proven to naturally improve serum lipid levels, which lowers cholesterol levels overall.
According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,
“intake of yerba mate infusion improved the lipid parameters in normolipidemic and dyslipidemic subjects and provided an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in hypercholesterolemic subjects on statin treatment, which may reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.”
The Best Yerba Mate Brand
There are many yerba mate tea brands, however, the best I have found is Guayaki. Guayaki produces a variety of types of yerba mate tea, and they produce the tea so you can consume it in different ways as well.
Although the traditional methods of brewing yerba are awesome, it is usually better to prepare yerba tea in a way that will not require any special equipment to save yourself time and effort.
One of the easiest ways to brew it is by simply using yerba tea bags, such as Guayaki Traditional Organic Mate Teabags.
- Includes one (1) 7.9 ounce bag containing 75 single serve yerba mate tea bags, 40mg caffeine per...
- High Energy Infusion: The strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of...
- Pure Taste: Traditional Yerba Mate is rich, robust, and balanced, with a complex earthy body and a...
- Every time you purchase Guayakí Yerba Mate, you're driving real change because the regeneration of...
- USDA Organic, Gluten Free, Non GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Certified B-Corp, Made With Fair Trade...
If you don’t want to use ready-made tea bags, you can also make yerba mate tea from loose leaves by simply using a strainer or infuser.
You can steep yerba just like you would do to any loose tea.
It’s better to buy yerba products that are organic.
Although relatively new to the Western market, you can already find it in ready-to-brew tea bags, loose-leaf tea, or even in a can.
- Delicious blueberry and elderberry flower flavor
- 75mg naturally occuring caffeine per can
- Certified organic, certified Kosher
- Gluten free and GMO free
- Fair trade, sustainable
It’s advisable to avoid heavily smoked and roasted yerba tea, because it contains a higher level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), than those that are not heavily smoked.
This smoking process does not make the tea dangerous, but it can diminish some of the benefits and nutrients.
High-quality yerba mates make use of a flash-heating process in order to protect the antioxidants and nutritional properties. This higher quality tea also is dried at a lower temperature, to sustain more nutrients.
While preparing the tea, allow the water to simmer- rather than boil. When you use boiling water, it leads to a more bitter tea.
You can use about one teaspoon per cup if you are using loose tea. You can use less if you want it weaker, or more if you prefer it stronger.
Allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes, and then add your favorite natural sweetener!
I prefer honey, stevia, or raw beet sugar to sweeten my tea!
You can drink yerba hot, or iced, either way is great!
Side Effects of Drinking Yerba Mate
Yerba mate tea is safe for most people when consumed in moderation. However, because it contains caffeine, it should not be consumed in excess quantities.
For those who are extremely caffeine sensitive, you should be more aware of how much you are drinking each day.
Yerba mate is great for a wake-up tea or mid-day boost, but I highly suggest you don’t drink it within a couple of hours of your bedtime.
Although yerba does contain a huge amount of health benefits, there are few side-effects to be aware of.
Some of the known side effects are:
- Sleep Trouble
- Upset stomach
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Luckily, most of these side effects are mild and unlikely.
The easiest way to avoid most of these unwanted effects is to reduce your overall daily intake of caffeine.
Concluding Thoughts – Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea
There are many yerba health benefits and this has resulted in the increasing popularity of yerba mate in the U.S market. Currently, there is only one yerba mate brand producing mass amounts of yerba tea packets and to-go drinks, but more are soon to follow soon.
The more people who know about yerba, the faster it will grow! This tea is filled with benefits that many of us can take advantage of.
Sure, the general taste of yerba can put some people off, but as a tea, it is easy to consume in various flavors.
Whether you want to brew your own every morning, buy the ready-to-drink beverages from your local natural food store every day, there are many ways to enjoy the amazing yerba mate benefits!
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