Many people consider the taste of yerba mate to be awesome and they thoroughly enjoy it. There are those who consider yarba mate a drink that helps to clean your kidneys, help you to focus, socialize and work creatively. Here Alina Petre, MS, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on health benefits of yerba mate, backed by science:
“Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink that's gaining worldwide popularity.
It's said to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the joy of chocolate.
Here are the top 8 health benefits of yerba mate.
What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is an herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant.
The leaves are typically dried over a fire, then steeped in hot water to make the tea.
Yerba mate is traditionally consumed from a container called a gourd and sipped with a metal straw that has a filter at its lower end to strain out the leaf fragments.
Sharing it from this traditional gourd is said to be a sign of friendship and bonding.
Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients
Yerba mate contains several beneficial plant nutrients, including (1Trusted Source):
- Xanthines: These compounds act as stimulants. They include caffeine and theobromine, which are also found in tea, coffee, and chocolate.
- Caffeoyl derivatives: These compounds are the main health-promoting antioxidants in the tea.
- Saponins: These bitter compounds have certain anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.
- Polyphenols: This is a large group of antioxidants, linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.
Interestingly, the antioxidant power of yerba mate tea seems to be slightly higher than that of green tea (2Trusted Source).
What's more, yerba mate may contain seven out of nine essential amino acids, in addition to nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs (1Trusted Source, 3).
However, the tea contains very small amounts of these nutrients, so it’s unlikely to make a large contribution to your diet on its own.
May Enhance Physical Performance
Caffeine is also known to improve muscle contractions, reduce fatigue, and improve sports performance by up to 5% (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Since yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, those drinking it can expect similar physical performance benefits.
In fact, in one study, those given one 1-gram capsule of ground yerba mate leaves right before exercise burned 24% more fat during moderate-intensity exercise (12Trusted Source).
A higher reliance on fat for fuel during exercise spares your carb reserves for critical high-intensity moments, such as cycling up a hill or sprinting towards the finish line. This could translate into better sports performance.
The optimal amount of yerba mate to drink before exercise is currently unknown.
May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Animal studies show that yerba mate may reduce appetite and boost metabolism, which can help with weight loss (18Trusted Source).
It seems to decrease the total number of fat cells and reduce the amount of fat they hold (19Trusted Source).
Human research suggests that it can also increase the amount of stored fat that's burned for energy (12Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Furthermore, in a 12-week study in overweight people, those given 3 grams of yerba mate powder per day lost an average of 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg). They also reduced their waist-to-hip ratio by 2%, which indicates lost belly fat (21Trusted Source).
In comparison, the participants given a placebo gained an average of 6.2 pounds (2.8 kg) and increased their waist-to-hip ratio by 1% over the same 12-week period (21Trusted Source).
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Yerba mate may help lower blood sugar and reduce the complications of diabetes.
In fact, a recent animal study reports that it may improve insulin signaling (25Trusted Source).
It may also reduce the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are involved in the development and worsening of many diseases (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
However, research in people is currently lacking.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-yerba-mate#section8
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