Yerba mate are helps fight against infections, helps with weight loss, reduces cholesterol levels, boosts energy and improves focus, helps with diabetes, rich in nutrients and antioxidants and kills colon cancer cells.
Yerba mate is a traditional drink which is widely popular in South America. It is made from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, which is a native plant in South America. It is considered a delicacy and consumed as a social beverage. Yerba mate can be consumed either as a tea, which is what is popular, or as an ingredient in foods or supplements. It has been gaining worldwide popularity because of its health benefits, some of which are listed below.
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7 Amazing Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is rich in nutrients and antioxidants
Yerba mate contains many beneficial plant nutrients. The following four are especially important. Xanthenes are compounds that act as stimulants. They contain caffeine and theobromine. Saponins have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol improving properties. Polyphenols are a large group of antioxidants which help in reducing the risk of a number of diseases. Caffeoyl derivatives are also antioxidants that work to keep the body healthy.
Interestingly, the antioxidants in Yerba mate make it healthier than even green tea. It also contains almost every vitamin and mineral that the body needs. Additionally, it contains seven out of the nine essential amino acids. Hence, Yerba mate is a powerhouse of antioxidants which makes it extremely beneficial for the body.
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Yerba mate fights against infections
Although more research is needed in the field, existing research suggests that Yerba mate has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. This means that it can protect the body from infections from bacteria, fungi and parasites. Different studies have produced these conclusions. It was found in one study that large doses of Yerba mate can fight against E. coli, a bacterium that causes food poisoning and diarrhea.
Another study found that it can prevent scaly skin, dandruff and skin rashes by fighting against Mallasezia furfur – the fungus that causes these. Yet another study found that Yerba mate contains compounds that can fight against intestinal parasites. It has also been found that Yerba mate fights to stop the growth Of H. pylori, which is responsible for damage to the lining of the stomach.
Yerba mate helps with weight loss
Consuming Yerba mate helps to both decrease the number of fat cells and reduce the fat present in them. It can also increase energy levels by increasing the stored fat that is burned. Studies have found that consuming Yerba mate helps to reduce body fat mass, body mass percentage, and waist-hip ratios. In specific, it is very helpful in loss of belly fat. It contains a number of saponins, the important ones being ursolic acid and oleanolic acid glycosides. These saponis act towards reducing body weight. Taking a Yerba mate supplement before exercising increases fat metabolism. It also reduces the accumulation of fat in the body. In conclusion, consuming Yerba mate reduces appetite, boosts metabolism and increases the amount of fat burned. These help to lose weight.
Yerba mate reduces cholesterol levels
Consuming Yerba mate tea can help with reducing serum lipid levels, thereby decreasing the cholesterol level. Studies have shown that Yerba mate consumption results in reduction of LDL cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol. By reducing this bad cholesterol in the body, cardiovascular diseases can be avoided. It can also increase HDL levels, which is good cholesterol. Therefore, it improves cholesterol levels generally.
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Yerba mate boosts energy and improves focus
Yerba mate has similar properties as coffee since it contains caffeine. The caffeine percentage in Yerba mate is lesser than that in coffee but more than that in tea. Thus, it has the properties of boosting one’s energy levels and making them feel less tired, just like any other caffeinated drink. It also acts on the signaling molecules of the brain which improves the person’s mental focus. It increases alertness, short term recall and decreases reaction time in humans. The structure of caffeine is similar to that of adenosine.
Thus, it most probably occupies adenosine receptors in the brain. The sensation of sleepiness is blocked by the caffeine that occupies the receptors. Studies and tests have found that people who consume Yerba mate tea experience increases alertness but do not experience jittery side effects like with coffee consumption. Although this hasn’t been scientifically proven, this is the main benefit of Yerba mate over other caffeinated drinks, especially coffee.
Yerba mate helps with diabetes
Yerba mate acts on diabetes by lowering the resistance to insulin. It can also lower the glucose level in blood. Advanced Glycatin End Products (AGEs) add to complications in diabetes such as bad vision, poor blood flow, damage of kidney and inflammation. Yerba mate acts on these to keep diabetes in control. Through its antioxidant properties, Yerba mate reduces the dose-dependency of AGEs by blocking a step in AGEs production. AGEs are produced from high blood sugar, so it is recommended to not add sugar with Yerba mate.
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Yerba mate kills colon cancer cells
Scientific studies have found that Yerba mate has anticancer properties. It contains many anticancer compounds like saponins, ursolic acid, tannin, rutin, chlorophyll and chlorogenic acid. It was also found that Yerba mate tea contained caffeoylquinic acid derivates that can successfully treat human colon cancer. Cancer cells die when exposed to bioactive compounds that are present in Yerba mate. It was discovered that as the concentration of caffeoylquinic acid was increased, the cancer cells died because of apoptosis. Caffeine present in Yerba mate is also a cause for the death of cancer cells. It also reduces inflammation. This is important because inflammation leads to cancer progression.
Side effects of Yerba mate
Some of the common possible side effects of Yerba mate are insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, headache, high blood pressure, ringing in the ears, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeats and increased rate of breathing. It is not recommended to consume Yerba mate in large doses or for long periods of time. This is because of its caffeine content. It becomes especially unsafe for people who are heavy drinkers or heavy smokers.
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Word of caution
Yerba mate is possibly unsafe for children, pregnant women and lactating women. Although it is mostly safe for others while taken in small quantities, it is safest to consult your doctor before consumption.
Yerba mate is considered one of the healthiest drinks in the world. It is an excellent alternative to coffee and tea and has exceptional health benefits.