You know that coffee and green tea are good for you, but there's another drink on the scene that is competing for the spotlight when it comes to health benefits. Ever heard of Yerba Mate? It's an herbal drink made from the leaves of the mate plant, typically found in the rainforests of South America. It contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals, can improve your health from weight loss to stress, and provides a natural source of energy. No wonder why it's the number one drink in many South American countries!
But is the hype real? Some studies agree that Yerba Mate is the super-drink that it's claimed to be. Other reports say that the safety of Yerba Mate hasn't been studied enough. Food journalist Kelly Choi recommends it as a metabolism-boosting tea in her bestselling The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse. "This tea is known for its powerful thermogenic effects, which means it turns up your body's calorie-burning mechanism," she explains. "But like any herbal product, you should consult with a doctor to see if it's right for you and consume it in moderation." If you can forgo the bitter, grassy taste, you may just score the load of health benefits that are causing such a buzz among the health food scene. And then get more slimming ideas with these 40 Best Foods to Melt Love Handles!
It's Great for Weight Loss
Research has found that sipping on Yerba Mate can help you slim down, much like green tea. Previous studies had participants take a Yerba Mate-infused supplements and found that the herb contributed to a reduction of body fat and BMIs. While they can't pinpoint why this is so great for weight loss, the study authors believed that it's due to its high concentrations of caffeine that contributed to the fat-burning effects. Another drink to add to The 37 Best-Ever Drinks for Weight Loss.
It Can Improve Your Digestion
Tummy troubles? Due to its high choleretic effect, drinking Yerba Mate regularly can help soothe an upset stomach and other digestion problems such as constipation and diarrhea. A study also mentioned that it can increase bile flow, which is beneficial for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
It's a Natural Boost of Energy
Need a pick-me-up? The mate leaves are naturally caffeinated, which makes this herbal drink a great alternative to your morning cup of joe. However, the abundance of vitamins and minerals balances out the caffeine, so it gives you that energy kick without the crash and burn that some get with coffee. And speaking of that energy boost, here are 35 Things You Didn't Know About Caffeine.
It Can Help The Heart
Yerba Mate is high in antioxidants and polyphenols which can help ward off diseases, especially heart health. According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, people who drank the Yerba Mate-infused tea for 40 days saw their LDL cholesterol reduced by 13.1 percent and a 6.2 percent increase in HDL cholesterol (also known as the good cholesterol), which suggests that the herbal drink can protect against cardiovascular diseases.
It Can Boost Your Metabolism
As mentioned before, a cup of Yerba Mate can help with your weight loss goals, but research has also found that it can improve your exercise performance. "This type of tea makes your fat burners more sensitive to exercise," says Choi. "This means that consuming the herb increases the beneficial effects that workouts have on your metabolism." Nice! And while we're on the subject, steer clear of these 25 Things You Did Today That Ruined Your Metabolism.
It May Help Prevent Diabetes
Evidence suggests that this herbal supplement can help protect people from diabetes. The Journal of American College Nutrition published a study on the effect of Yerba Mate tea and individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Individuals who consumed the beverage found that it reduced the lipid and glucose levels.
It Improves Your Friendships
We're not kidding with this one! Much like how we grab coffee or drinks with our friends, drinking Yerba Mate is a social event in South American countries. Traditional ceremonies would pass around the drink in a gourd, symbolizing hospitality. Plus, Yerba Mate gives you an euphoric feeling that's similar to eating chocolate, so you'll feel the same happy feelings you would if you took a round of shots—only healthier. If you'd rather imbibe, though, don't miss our guide to healthy alcoholic drinks!
It Eases Anxiety and Stress
Next time you find yourself stressed at work, try drinking a cup of Yerba Mate. Like green tea, maté contains theobromine, an alkaloid that gives off a relaxing effect and can minimize stress levels. And by stressing less, you're clearing your mind, which means you can up your focus and get work done.
It Can Stop Bacterial Growth
Yup, Yerba Mate can stop your food from going bad. A study published in Journal of Food Protection suggests that Yerba Mate can protect foods against the E.coli bacteria. Researchers added high concentrations of the tea to spoiled apple juice and found that its antimicrobial properties modified the juice's PH balance and reduced bacterial growth.
It Can Boost Your Immunity
Yerba Mate is a nutrition powerhouse due to its high concentration vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also features vitamin C and zinc, which essential for warding off the cold and flu. By drinking maté and eating these 7 Foods that Ward off Winter Illnesses, you'll be good to go!