by Eddy Barillas
The word is pronounced like latte, with the emphasis on the a. I became a avid fan of the hot drink named Mate after a recent a trip to Argentina in South America. The natives there have been drinking this tea concoction for as long as everyone can remember and it is considered a staple drink in almost every household. As with other brewed herbs, mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba (herb). This drink is prepared by steeping the dried leaves in hot water then served with a metal straw and drank from a hollow calabash gourd. Well as it turns out theses herbs are not only a tasty hot treat for South Americans but it turns out that it is a very healthy treat at that.
Drinking the hot drink mate is considered to be more that just good for the body but it’s also good for the soul. Drinking it can form a meditation or reflection, allowing the goodness to infuse into the body while stimulating the rest of the mind. But just what do these herbs contain that cause these effects and what else do they do your body?
Well Mate tea contains several vitamins and minerals that are important to the human health including vitamin A (as beta-carotone) B1,B2, C and E as well as phosphorus, iron and calcium. That’s sure a mouthful, literary. Mate tea contains significant levels of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and has a slightly higher antioxidant capacity that green tea. Mate is also great in cancer prevention as it prevents the growth of oral cancer cells.
Mate is also known to have a positive effect on cholesterol as a recent study has shown that the consumption of 0.5 liters of mate tea can increase the levels of the enzyme that produces HDL, which is commonly known as a good cholesterol and can also lower the levels of LDL which is commonly known as bad cholesterol.
M ate can also enhance your ability to focus and is a great substitute for drinking coffee as mate does not cause any of the uncomfortable side effects that are associated with coffee such as headaches, stomach aches and the jitters. Mate can also enhance your physical endurance as it affects your metabolism to make your body burn carbohydrates more effectively which means that one can get more energy from the foods that are eaten and you will burn more calories that your body has stored as fuel.
So this tea is good not only for your cholesterol levels, but can help you fight cancer and is a great antioxidant and can most certainly help you against the effects of aging. Look for it at your favorite South American store the next time you’re in the mood for a healthy and hot drink.