Yerba Maté Vs. Coffee: Should You Make The Switch?
We love coffee for its ability to give us a boost of energy when we need it. On the other hand, despite its ability to stimulate body and mind, coffee can also have some negative effects. Among those can be coffee’s acidic nature, “the jitters,” or we may experience the dreaded “coffee crash” from drinking too much.
Yerba Maté can be an interesting alternative for those who don’t want to be without their daily caffeine-induced boost but without the negatives from coffee. Let us look at Yerba Maté and how it compares to coffee.
WHAT IS YERBA MATÉ?
Yerba Maté is a holly shrub plant native to Paraguay, Argentina, Southern Brazil and Uruguay. The leaves and twigs of the Yerba Maté plant are dried and steeped to make an herbal tea called Maté. Maté is a popular beverage in many parts of South America. South American natives have used Maté for thousands of years due to its medicinal, energy boosting, and uplifting properties. Although Maté has been around for a long time, it is still considered somewhat of a novelty beverage outside of South America.
Yerba Maté contains about the same amount of caffeine as coffee, yet there are differences in how it affects the body. For example, Yerba Maté contains a variety of vitamins and other beneficial compounds such as riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. These all give the body an extra little pep. It also has small amounts of potassium and vitamin B as well as zinc, magnesium and vitamin C. Like coffee, Maté also contains antioxidants. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well.
THE EFFECTS OF YERBA MATÉ
Maté’s stimulating effects on the body and the mind are unlike any other caffeine-containing drink. While providing about the same amount of caffeine as coffee or tea, Maté has the unique ability to stimulate and soothe at the same time. This may be due to its relaxing compounds, such as theophylline and theobromine. The result is an energy boost without the jitters or a “coffee crash” - even after multiple servings.
In addition to its stimulating and uplifting abilities, Maté is thought to have even more beneficial effects. Yerba Maté can improve the mood and is said to induce a sense of well-being. It is also used to control appetite, relieve headaches and improve various pains.
Yerba Mate’s beneficial compounds have been observed to reduce high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. There is also scientific evidence that Yerba Maté is also beneficial in the treatment of colon cancer, type II diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
USING YERBA MATÉ
Yerba Maté in powder form can be used as a regular tea. Use a heaped spoonful for each cup and allow to steep in hot (not boiling) water for about 3-4 minutes. You can also use a French coffee press to make and strain Maté tea.
If you drink coffee but don’t like its sometimes negative effects, Yerba Maté can be an excellent alternative. Make the switch to Yerba Maté and experience its beneficial effects for yourself!
Written by: Georg
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