Made from the holly tree, the yerba mate is a popular beverage in most South American countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and regions in Chile and Brazil. It is loaded with a plethora of phytochemicals such as xanthines, polyphenols, saponins and caffeoyl derivatives. Unsurprisingly, these compounds are extremely beneficial for the body. A deeper look into the benefits of the Yerba tea might just make you a fan of this underrated tea.
Benefits of Yerba Mate
Aids in Weight Management
Consuming yerba mate on a regular basis will not only help you lose weight, but it will also prevent weight gain and help you maintain your weight. It works by reducing your hunger pangs by triggering fat oxidation. This will essentially lower the rate of lipolysis and stalls the fat absorption in the body. Besides leaving you feeling sated and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks, the caffeine derivatives and saponins present in the yerba mate impede the triglyceride metabolism and cholesterol. If you’re on the heavy side or at risk of obesity, drinking yerba mate will do wonders to manage the disease and prevent the cardiovascular diseases that are associated with it.
Alleviates Indigestion and Diarrhea
Apart from helping you shed some weight, the yerba mate is a digestive tonic that contains antibacterial ingredients that can relieve indigestion and diarrhoea that is caused by bacterial infections. Additionally, yerba mate has been noted for its choleretic, substances that essentially increase the volume of secretion of bile from the liver, activity. Basically, yerba mate mobilises the bile juices produced by the liver. It’s also helpful to note an increased rate of bile flow digest food quickly and in turn, helps to better assimilate the nutrients into the body.
Boosts Immune System
Yerba mate is packed with a trove of antioxidants such as ursolic acid, tannins, rutin, oleanolic acid, and quercetin. The antioxidants in yerba mate are responsible for combating the harmful effects of free radicals and prevents oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is not only linked with increasing the risk of certain chronic conditions, but it is also linked with premature ageing, which causes wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin. In addition to fighting oxidative stress, the potent antioxidant properties work to eliminate toxins from the body. Moreover, it’s the saponins and caffeoylquinic derivatives that along with other polyphenols that stimulate and strengthen the immune system. And that’s not all, the antioxidants activate T-cells, which inadvertently activate subsets of cells that play a large role in protecting your body from all kinds of infections, diseases, and chronic health conditions.
Lowers the Risk of Cancers
The yerba mate contains various phytochemicals that have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that keep the body healthy. In addition to that, the ingredients present in the beverage impede the enzymes that are responsible for the development and growth of tumours and even metastasis. Metastasis is basically the development of secondary malignant growths that occur from a certain distance from a primary site of cancer. However, it is important to note that taking too much yerba mate might increase the risk of cancer in various parts of the body, including larynx, mouth, oesophagus and the GI tract.
Boosts Cognition and Coordination
The caffeine coupled with other neuro-stimulating phytochemicals and alkaloids found in the yerba mate boost the cognitive function. The extracts in the leaf protect the cerebellum, action centres, cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Consuming the beverage regularly will lower a number of health conditions such as seizures, pulsating headaches, improves blood circulation to the brain and reduces convulsions. Moreover, the beverage helps to maintain your sleep cycle, relieves anxiety, and maintains the overall function of the endocrine and paracrine systems.
Keeps you Alert
Rather than starting your day with a cup of coffee, consider substituting coffee with yerba mate instead. The high caffeine content in the beverage will keep you up for hours on end. Interestingly enough, the yerba mate contains a similar phytochemical composition as black and green tea. The flavonoids that are present in the yerba mate are also potent enough to purify the blood and cleanse the body. In addition to that, the minerals and vitamin in the beverage work to revitalise and recharge the body.
Possible Side Effects of Yerba Mate
Although yerba mate is mostly made of herbs, consuming too much of it can cause side effects to the body. For instance, consuming too much yerba mate might interrupt your sleep cycle or even cause insomnia, due to its high caffeine content. Additionally, too much yerba mate in the system can cause heart troubles. This is largely due to the flavonoids, caffeine and caffeoylquinic acid derivatives that can affect the heart. These properties can cause fluctuations in the blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and electrolyte imbalances. In some rare cases, drinking too much yerba mate can result in heart attacks. What’s more, the popular South American beverage might cause liver damage and cause diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should steer clear of the yerba mate, as it is extremely risky for their overall health.