There is a great debate going on around the popular South American drink, Yerba Mate. Researchers in South America (SA) claim that mateine is a different form of caffeine than is found in coffee, soda, etc. North American (NA) researchers claim both are the same. Now I am no chemist so knowing the difference between the molecules of mateine vs. caffeine absolutely does not interest me! What does interest me is the tea itself.
Yerba Mate is a subtropical shrub or small tree grown in Argentina, eastern Paraguay, western Uruguay and southern Brazil. The plant itself requires high temperatures, high humidity, and lots of rain. The Guarani Indians were supposedly the first to use this plant and they knew, to the best of their ability, the health benefits of consuming it. What they didn’t know was the science behind what is in this drink. Below are a few of the vitamins and minerals in Yerba Mate and what those vitamins and minerals do for you.
1. B-1- Thiamin– converts blood sugar into energy. Keeps your mucous membranes healthy, is essential for your nervous system, cardiovascular system and for muscular function.
2. B-2- Riboflavin- works with the other B vitamins to process calories from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Your body needs it for growth and red blood cell production. Riboflavin promotes healthy skin and good vision.
3. A-Retinol– Good for your eyes. Keeps eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. It neutralizes free radicals in the body.
4. Carotene- Boosts the immune system. Important for eye health. Has been known to help against heart disease and even some forms of cancer.
5. B-5- Pantothenic– Is known as the “anti-stress vitamin”. Assists in boosting metabolism, helps to fight allergies, and helps maintain healthy skin, muscles and nerves. It helps release energy and is used to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
6. Inositol– this vitamin is needed for health from a cellular level especially in the eyes and heart. It may help reduce cholesterol levels, control hormone levels, and aid in the growth of hair.
7. 15 Amino Acids- The building blocks of proteins.
8. Potassium- It is important in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Sufficient amounts of this mineral reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, increases muscular function, and helps soothe feelings of stress and anxiety.
9. Magnesium- Helps the body absorb calcium and plays a key role in strengthening bones and teeth. It stabilizes the hearts rhythm and prevents abnormal clotting in the heart. It lowers the chance of heart attacks and strokes and in some cases can help aid in the recovery of a heart attack or stroke. Maintains muscle function and helps with fatigue especially for fibromyalgia patients.
10. Manganese- Aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting abilities, sex hormones, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, calcium absorption and the regulation of blood sugar. Low levels of this mineral have been linked to infertility, weakness and seizures.
12. Iron- This is needed to produce red blood cells and red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the cells in your body. It is also needed to produce all of the “feel good” neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
AND SO ON………………………….. So one can deduce by the power of association that since Yerba Mate contains these vitamins and minerals, it can also aid your body as they do.
Yerba Mate contains mateine, a form of caffeine and the center of the big debate between SA and NA. Speaking from my own experience and from the feedback I get from my clients, I agree with the researchers from SA. When I drink mate, I find my energy increase and the ride on this rush NEVER hits a wall as with coffee. I have never gotten the shakes from the mateine and it doesn’t upset my stomach. Anyone who uses this miracle drink LOVES it!
Yerba Mate has a vegatative/herbal taste when it is not roasted. It brews into a beautiful green color and can be consumed hot or cold. In SA, where this is the drink of choice, it is consumed through metal straws with screens on the end called Bombilla’s out of hollowed out gourds. Yerba Mate can be roasted and/or flavored in a variety of ways.
I promise in the next few years, you will hear more about this phenomenal drink and how it is one way to help reverse the damage on your body. Why not beat the rush and start consuming this miracle now!