Yerba maté has long been enjoyed in South America, and this delicious green tea has recently increased in popularity around the world. The South Americans have cultivated yerba maté almost as long as they have grown and consumed quinoa. The tea’s health benefits are numerous. Yerba maté has been studied for its healthy actions on obesity, endurance, and focus, as well as its powerful antioxidant properties.
This delicious disease fighter and obesity wrangler is a staple in places like Argentina, where it is consumed daily. I currently reside in Argentina, and I am enjoying a cup of yerba maté as I write about the exceptional health benefits that this little powerhouse boasts!
When will the rest of the world catch up with this ancient provider of healing power? A 2007 study published in Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology discusses the amazing health benefits yerba maté has to offer. The study states, “The popular medicine and the herbalists recommend it for arthritis, migraines, constipation, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, obesity, fatigue, retention of liquid, hypertension, and for stomach and liver diseases.”
The Alternative Daily is always on the hunt for the best alternative ways for you to stay healthy and happy. In doing so, yerba maté came up on our radar! Let’s take a closer look at yerba maté and its potential as a superfood.
Amazing health benefits of drinking yerba maté
Yerba maté has the vitamins and minerals you need
Yerba maté is rich in the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. It contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and a B complex. These minerals include potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, manganese and selenium. Yerba maté also has 15 amino acids essential for growth and happy living, as well as a high amount of pantothenic acid.
A team of yerba maté investigators from the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society discussed the high levels of pantothenic acid and the multiple vitamins and minerals that yerba maté offers. Their research noted that yerba maté consisted of, “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”
Yerba maté also contains high levels of potassium, an essential mineral in the fight against hypertension, stroke and kidney disease. These are only a few wonderful examples of why yerba maté is a superstar for your health and well-being.
Yerba maté contains high levels of antioxidants
The antioxidant power of yerba maté has also been the focus of several research studies. Antioxidants help to hunt down and destroy free radicals that lurk in your body. Free radicals have been found to cause serious diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Studies have found yerba maté contains high levels of antioxidants, even more antioxidants than green tea, another drink noted for its health benefits. A comprehensive review of yerba maté, published in the Journal of Food Science (2007) found, “Yerba maté protects DNA from oxidation and in vitro low-density lipoprotein lipoperoxidation and has a high antioxidant capacity. It has also been reported that yerba maté tea is associated to both the prevention and the cause of some types of cancers.”
Yerba maté controls your metabolism and fights obesity
Approximatély 35 percent of adults in the United States are obese, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The obesity numbers are staggering and are increasing every year. Roughly 78 million people are susceptible to diseases caused by obesity, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer.
Yerba maté, like any natural powerhouse, can help you maintain a healthy weight and fight obesity, keeping you from becoming a statistic. A 2015 study published in Nutrients reviewed the ability of yerba maté to assist in the prevention and treatment of obesity. The study stated, “In summary, the data presented here showed that the use of yerba maté might be useful against obesity, improving the lipid parameters in humans and animal models. In addition, yerba maté modulates the expression of genes that are changed in the obese state and restores them to more normal levels of expression.” Research has also found yerba maté to have protective and reversing effects on diabetes insulin resistance.
Yerba maté improves digestive health
Good digestion plays a vital role in weight management and the prevention of metabolic syndrome. Yerba maté has been a long-standing herbal remedy for the people of South America. And for good reason!
Yerba maté increases the production of bile or bile flow (BF) while also stimulating other essential gastric acids important for proper digestion. Research conducted at the Catedra de Farmacologia in Buenos Aires, Argentina and published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2001) found yerba maté can play a positive role in digestion. The study found yerba maté “induced an increase in BF” and “also enhanced intestinal transit.” This delicious beverage will eliminate bad bacteria in your gut by keeping your colon clean and working efficiently.
Yerba maté will lower your cholesterol levels
Do you have high cholesterol? If you do or think you might, yerba maté is your liquid “knight in shining armor.” High cholesterol is a dangerous condition, and it is one of the leading factors in coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is one of the most common forms of heart disease, and according to the CDC, “Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in both men and women.” Twenty-five percent of all deaths are caused by heart disease; coronary heart disease claims approximatély 370,000 lives annually.
Yerba maté has been found to increase vasodilatation, which could very well save your life. Brazilian studies published in Biological Research for Nursing (2005) found that a steady consumption of yerba maté lowered cholesterol levels in rats by 30 percent and subsequently lowered triglycerides by over 60 percent. With heart disease attributing to a high percentage of deaths annually, having a cup of yerba maté seems to be a great natural choice to keep you healthy for decades to come.
Yerba maté will increase your physical performance
Yerba maté has been found to have performance-enhancing effects. This may be the secret to the success of South American soccer players over the last few decades. Is it plausible? Actually, yerba maté has been widely studied for its performance-enhancing properties. Yerba maté’s superpower lies in its ability to improve metabolism — it assists the body in breaking down carbohydrates.
The drink has vitamins and minerals that keep your metabolism functioning at optimal levels, creating an energy boost. Research conducted at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, reviewed a 2002 U.S. patent that discussed the performance-enhancing abilities of yerba maté. The review mentioned yerba maté’s ability to inhibit, “monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity by 40-50% in vitro.” Inhibiting MAOs has been researched for increased athletic performance, and studies have found that thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies have lower levels of MAOs than the rest of the population.
With the evidence presented, are you ready to experience what yerba maté has to offer? Yerba maté gives you the vital nutrients that keep you strong, focused, healthy and performing at your highest level. Make way superfoods, yerba maté has leaped from its rich, ancient history onto the health main stage.
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.