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Yerba Mate

Nutrition data (3.5 oz/100 g)

Proteins0.02 oz/0.6 g
Fats0.01 oz/0.12 g
Carbohydrates0.02 oz/0.5 g
Energy1-5 kcal

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Mate is a real treasure of South America. The health benefits of this unique drink have been known since ancient times, the Guarani Indians called it “life elixir” and believed that mate was presented to people by God.

Mate is frequently mixed up with a tea, which is not correct. The mate drink is made from the leaves and stems of rainforest holly tree (ilex paraguariensis) which has nothing in common with tea plants.

Image source - Café Virtuoso website

Health effects

Mate drink is incredibly healthy. It is difficult to find another plant in the whole world which would be able to compare with mate in its beneficial health effects. Mate contains 196 microelements and vitamins. The drink is a good source of sodium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus, it has vitamins of A, B, C, E group.

Mate health benefits are innumerable. In the first place, mate is a tonic beverage, it gives energy and helps to build up strength after physical and mental workload. Mate contains mateine which stimulates the central nervous system but unlike caffeine it does not raise blood pressure, increase heart beat, induce wakefulness, instead, it boosts immunity and enhances mental function. In addition, it doesn't appear to be addicting.

Mate helps to focus attention, to increase endurance, to overcome stress and depression, to suppress hunger. Scientific researches confirm that mate contains almost everything necessary for sustaining human life. 

Mate improves digestion process, normalizes blood pressure, imports oxygen into the blood, and widens blood vessels.

Recent research conducted by the group of scientists from South America revealed that regular consumption of mate may prevent lung cancer.

Choosing mate

                     Image source - Baldo.com.br website

Buying mate, first of all, pay attention to country where it was produced, as the best quality mate is imported from Argentina.

Good mate should be vacuum-packed in order to preserve product’s quality for long time.

It is also recommended to check best-before date as taste of expired mate would be different.

How to drink mate

Mate, calabash, bombilla

Traditionally Argentines drink mate from natural calabash gourds through special metal straw called bombilla. Mate is brewed right in the gourd, the temperature of the water should be around 170F - 180F (75C - 80C), after 2-3 minutes mate is ready for drinking.

The same portion of mate can be brewed up to 10 times.

Interesting facts

At the beginning of XVII century in Paraguay missionaries claimed that mate is a “drink of devil” and banned its sale and consumption. However, as the ban did not work, it was shortly removed.

In 2008 in Uruguayan San-Jose a monument to mate was set up. No wonder, Uruguay is a leader in mate consumption. More than 85% of population drink mate every day.

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