Yerba mate – a drink of gods

Jack Weather

In modern time obesity has become a real epidemic problem. People are constantly looking for new solutions which can help to lose weight. Of course, diet and exercise will always be the basis in this matter, however, we can often find various supplements that may work positively on us (for example widely known fat burners). In addition, there are also various plants and herbs that have a long history of contribution to our health. It is worth to look at something like Yerba Mate, at which it was proposed that it can help in the fight against obesity. How does it look in practice?


Yerba Mate - what is it?

Ilex paraguariensis (Aquifoliaceae) or just Yerba Mate is a plant originating from the subtropical region of South America, including southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The extract from Yerba Mate is prepared mainly in four options:

  • chimarrao
  • maté cocido
  • terere
  • maté

Chimarrão and tererê are made of dried and crushed green maté leaves. The first one is prepared by using hot water and the second with the use of cold. Maté is the option closest to the regular tea, and maté cocido is called green maté, which acts as a natural medicament.

In some cultures, drinking Yerba is like drinking tea at 5 P.M for British people - it's not just drink, it's a ritual!
In some cultures, drinking Yerba is like drinking tea at 5 P.M for British people - it's not just drink, it's a ritual!

Regarding the maté drinks, it has been noted that they have different biological activities, mainly related to the high amount of polyphenols they contain. Phenolic compounds have long been known for what benefits they can bring for our health. In addition to polyphenols such as flavonoids (quercetin and rutin) and phenolic acids (chlorogenic), we also find large amounts of caffeine and saponins. Some time ago a study was published in which it was scientifically proven that yerba maté possesses important pharmacological properties, as well as:

  • antioxidant activity
  • protection against induced DNA damage
  • inhibition of glycation and atherosclerosis
  • improvement of glucose metabolism
  • anti-inflammatory effect
  • thermogenic effects
  • decreasing insulin resistance

Yerba mate and obesity

One of the first studies on whether mate is able to help our fight with overweight was created in 2001. It was found that a herbal preparation containing yerba maté slows stomach actions, which makes us feel full a lot longer and induces significant weight loss in the case of obese patients. It is worth noting, however, that most of the research on the possibilities of this drink were made on animals as mice, in which the above-mentioned aspects were also replaced, which gives us more confidence in mate effects. Molecular mechanisms of Yerba mate have also been tested to check how it affects the genes associated with adipogenesis and thermogenesis, but this has mainly been done on obese animals. Despite this, the effects seem to be satisfactory and indicate that Yerba Mate is able to positively influence the fight against obesity.

Summary

Yerba Mate can certainly be a very interesting addition to our diet as a drink that can help you lose weight. Most studies indicate quite strongly what the Yerba mate is able to do and looking at the fact that there are no serious contraindications, this is the most interesting addition for any person who fights obesity. Of course, keep in mind that drinking drinks alone will not change anything. It's still necessary to have a proper diet and a lot of exercise!

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