Yerba mate tea is a traditional South American drink which tastes great, gives you energy and is very good for your health. Mate has can also be used for several medicinal purposes. In South America it has been traditionally used as a bit of a cure-all remedy. Now that yerba mate tea is becoming more popular all over the world, also the amount of research related to it is on the rise. In this article we are going to tell you about yerba mate tea health benefits. There are many evidence-based health benefits from weight loss to reducing bad cholesterol.
If you are wondering where to buy yerba mate tea or which product to choose, read our reviews in this article: Yerba Mate Tea Reviews – 5 Popular Brands.
Yerba Mate is Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients
Yerba mate plant has several beneficial plant nutrients that are dissolved in the tea during the brewing process (1). Yerba mate has even higher level of antioxidants compared to green tea (2), which is generally considered very healthy. Yerba mate also contains small amounts of essential amino acids and almost every vitamin and mineral that your body needs.
The most important beneficial compounds found in yerba mate tea are the following:
- Saponins: Bitter compounds which can lower cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Polyphenols: A large group of antioxidants which reduces risk of many illnesses.
- Caffeoyl derivatives: Yerba mate has high levels of these healthy antioxidants.
- Xanthines: Yerba mate contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline which are stimulants.
It Improves Cholesterol Levels
Research indicates that by consuming yerba mate tea you can lower your cholesterol levels. Mate is a natural way of improving your serum lipid levels. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consuming yerba mate results in lower LDL cholesterol levels (3). The study was conducted on people with high cholesterol / triglyceride levels, but who were otherwise healthy. Reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) can help in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Yerba Mate Stimulates the Immune System
Saponins are phytochemicals which are naturally abundant in many plant species. The saponins in yerba mate are natural emulsifiers which are known to boost your immune system. Saponins also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (4). Thus, drinking yerba mate tea may help you in preventing bacterial infections as well as parasites and harmful fungi.
It Helps with Burning Belly Fat and Losing Weight
The saponins in yerba mate can help you in reducing body weight. A study conducted with animals is supporting this claim (5). It has been proven that yerba mate increases fat oxidation and energy consumption during exercise. In a randomized, double-blind study yerba mate supplementation was found to help in decreasing body fat mass and percentage as well as waist-hip ratio (6).
Another study conducted on healthy males and females in 2014 concluded that it can increase exercise effectiveness on weight loss (7). Furthermore, a small study targeting overweight people found that even an average loss of 1,5 pounds during a 12-week period was achieved by taking yerba mate supplement (8). To summarize the results of these studies we can say that yerba mate can be an effective aid in burning fat and loosing body weight.
Yerba Mate Tea Gives Energy and Improves Mental Focus
The caffeine content of yerba mate tea depends on the brewing method and can be anything between 20mg and 130mg. In general, we can say that a cup of mate tea contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee but more than a cup of tea. Too much caffeine can make you feel jittery and uncomfortable. However, yerba mate seems to have a calming effect while working as a stimulant at the same time.
In addition to caffeine yerba mate contains two other compounds which affect our central nervous system. Yerba mate contains theobromine (also found in chocolate) which makes you feel good and theophylline (also present in green and black tea), a stimulant capable of enhancing your mental energy levels. Thus, yerba mate tea has a unique mix of the three neurostimulants working together.
Many South American athletes are consuming mate in order to feel more vibrant and energetic during exercise and competitions. The energizing and refreshing qualities of yerba mate tea can help you to be smarter and more productive, focused and creative! If you wan to read more about yerba mate and exercise check out this article.
Yerba Mate Tea Health Benefits
Yerba mate tea health benefits are numerous but all of them have not yet been thoroughly researched. In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, yerba mate is also a digestive tonic and can help in treating constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. It is also good for heart-related conditions like irregular heartbeat, heart failure and low blood pressure (9). Yerba mate can also help in lowering blood sugar levels and killing cancer cells.
Worried about yerba mate side effects? Read this article: Yerba Mate Tea Side Effects – Are There Any?
I hope this article gave you some useful information. If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comments section below.