Yerba mate – drink regularly to stay healthy and slim
The most valuable thing in human life is not luxury goods, cars, houses or super clothes, but our health, something that in case of loss we will not be able to buy for any, even the biggest money. Therefore taking care of it should become a habit, a habit, and such a systematic approach is the best guarantee of effective protection against diseases or other equally troublesome infections. For this purpose you can take typically pharmacological agents, which, however, with prolonged use have quite unpleasant and troublesome side effects, so it is better to rely on typically natural methods. One of the more frequently recommended is regular drinking of herbal infusions made from plants with numerous and confirmed health properties, such as the extremely popular yerba mate, i.e. extract from holly of Paraguay.
- 1 The Paraguayan holly – known and valued throughout South America
- 2 Yerba mate – what parts of the plant can we use
- 3 Yerba mate – important health properties
- 4 Yerba mate – health properties confirmed by experts
- 5 Yerba mate – properties promoting weight loss
- 6 Yerba mate – how to prepare an aromatic drink
The Paraguayan holly – known and valued throughout South America
Yerba mate arrived on our continent from the Parana river basin in South America, where it was a favourite drink of Indian tribes living in this remote region of the globe. For centuries, Indians have been consuming holly leaves as a popular stimulant with valuable properties, the most important of which for them were providing large amounts of energy and eliminating the feeling of fatigue, necessary for hunting.
Despite its enormous popularity, the plant grows naturally in only four countries, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, but over time plantations have been set up elsewhere to grow it on an industrial scale. It is safe to say that in countries in this part of the world it has become a national drink, and one of its great fans is Pope Francis, who comes from Argentina. The plant was brought to Europe by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, but it is now enjoying its greatest popularity.
Yerba mate – what parts of the plant can we use
The plant belongs to the species of holly, an evergreen shrub, even though it can reach a height of up to 15 metres, which makes it more like a tree. However, the average height of the cultivated variety reaches a maximum of 6 – 8 m with a smooth, white trunk and 5 cm long, long, serrated leaves, which are dark green on top and light green underneath. The small flowers, gathered in white or cream bunches, develop into the characteristic fruit, fleshy purple or dark red berries. The dried, properly prepared twigs and leaves are used to make an aromatic brew known as yerba mate. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in our country make it impossible to grow holly, which requires much higher temperatures for proper growth, between 23 and 25 degrees in the day and as much as 18-20 at night.
Yerba mate – important health properties
Fortunately, yerba mate is now available not only in stores with healthy, organically produced food and thanks to this we can fully appreciate its properties, and it really has something to boast about. In each small leaf we find a whole host of valuable nutrients, in perfectly matched doses, and these are the ones that have an extremely beneficial effect on our body, especially such components of holly as:
- vitamin B1, thiamine, without which the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates supplied with food cannot properly take place;
- vitamin B2;
- Vitamin B3, a powerful tool of vital importance for health, lowering cholesterol to a safe level and thus avoiding many dangerous diseases;
- Vitamin B5, particularly important for the health of various parts of the body, synthesizing important hormones, improving the condition of the skin, hair and nails;
- vitamin B6, which supports heart function, regulates blood pressure and nervous system function, takes part in the production of red blood cells;
- vitamin C, not without a reason called the health vitamin, which has a significant role in the proper functioning of our immune system,
- vitamins E and H, called biotin;
- caffeine, and as we know, nothing gives us more energy;
- the most important minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus;
Yerba mate – health properties confirmed by experts
Let’s face it, not many other herbs found in our medicine cabinets have such a composition. So it’s worth considering replacing them with yerba mate, which is not only tasty, although you have to get used to the taste, but also has health properties confirmed by many specialists. Studies have shown that regular drinking of holly tea not only improves general health, but is also important in the treatment and prevention of many serious diseases. However, due to the possibility of caffeine overdose, it is not recommended to consume too much of it, and definitely pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid drinking yerba mate. Other not-so-burdensome side effects are, on the other hand, related to its diuretic properties, which can lead to dehydration if overdosed, but if the recommended amounts are followed, there is no risk of harming yourself this way.
The most important health benefits of yerba mate
- strong yet safe stimulating properties thanks to caffeine, which not only gives you a daily dose of energy, but also removes the feeling of physical and mental fatigue, helping your body regenerate
- oxygenation of the brain resulting in better concentration and lack of problems with sleep and falling asleep despite the stimulant effect of yerba mate, help with the symptoms of Alzheimer and Parkinson;
- antidepressant action, improving mood and removing unfavourable nervous tension states, including stress;
- improving functions of the circulatory system, improving blood flow thanks to reduction of smooth muscle tension in blood vessels, lowering excessively high blood pressure which can be dangerous to health;
- Improved functioning of the kidneys and the entire urinary system;
- faster recovery of damaged body cells;
- Increased immunity;
- regeneration of stomach walls and intestines, especially important for people with ulcers;
- thorough cleansing of the body from toxins and other equally harmful by-products of digestion and metabolism;
- antifungal, anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic and strengthening the effects of certain painkillers;
- Protection of DNA from damage;
- strengthening joints and bones thanks to minerals such as sodium and calcium, and the rest together with vitamins improve the condition of hair, nails and skin, helping to remove unsightly acne les ions or troublesome dandruff. It also helps protect teeth from decay;
- lower cholesterol levels, minimizing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis or stroke;
- regulating and bringing to a safe level the amount of sugar in the blood, increasing its assimilability, for which chlorogenic acid also contained in yerba mate is responsible. The infusion can therefore be an important part of effective diabetes prevention;
- regulating metabolism itself, increasing bile secretion allowing for effective fat digestion, which is important for weight loss. Catechins, which are part of bile, also reduce fat absorption;
- no yo-yo effect during the slimming treatment;
- better intestinal peristalsis and consequently no problems with emptying, especially with painful constipation.
Yerba mate – properties promoting weight loss
The amount of health-promoting properties of yerba mate may cause our initial surprise, however, it is a good idea to replace most of the hot drinks consumed during the day with it. The benefits will be immediate, and after some time you will also notice a rapid weight loss and most importantly without the mentioned yo-yo effect. This slimming effect of holly is also confirmed by professional nutritionists, who emphasize its high effectiveness, but only when it becomes one of the elements of a carefully composed diet. Without a proper diet, low-calorie meals full of substances important for health, combined with plenty of exercise, we cannot count on achieving the expected results. However, yerba mate effectively supports this, thanks to its effect on digestion and metabolism, significant intensification and regulation of these important processes.
The most important action for weight loss is inhibiting excessive and often difficult to control appetite, without which we constantly reach for unhealthy and fattening snacks. The infusion effectively tricks the brain, which receives a signal of satiety and allows you to better control compulsive eating or snacking at night. In addition, we can count on complete detoxification, thorough cleansing from toxins, another factor directly responsible for weight gain, unfortunately often ignored. To sum up, we digest all meals better, burn fat faster and thanks to its diuretic properties we also remove excess water from the body.
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Yerba mate – how to prepare an aromatic drink
The ever-growing popularity of yerba mate automatically translates into its increasing availability, and we don’t have to look for it only in specialist health food stores anymore. Without much trouble, we can find it even in supermarkets, which to meet the needs of customers have introduced departments for lovers of ecology.
Usually, we buy dried holly leaves and stems, which are perfectly suitable for brewing, and for which we can use special vessels, making this a complicated, but fascinating ceremony, similar to the Japanese green tea brewing. The carefully measured amount of dried tea is poured into a matuka or calabash, poured over water at a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees, brewed for at least five minutes and the taste can be improved by adding a teaspoon of honey or a slice of lemon. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from using a regular mug and throwing in a bag of yerba mate, also available in an express version, to replace your daily morning coffee.