Yerba is part of the daily lives of millions of Latin Americans. Therefore, we decided to see what are the benefits of incorporating it into our lives.
Yerba mate is popular in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. / Photo: Unsplash
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Leer en español: Los beneficios del consumo de la yerba mate
Yerba mate is a plant used to make different infusions. According to what La Nación mentions, the first to consume the herb through the famous light bulb were the Guarani. Similarly, it also clarifies that the only countries that produce it are Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Despite the fact that the famous mate is already a common drink in many countries, the reality is that there is a tendency for it to become increasingly popular. According to what the site El Economista mentions, the Argentine domestic market reached a new mark last year, the Yerba Mate National Institute (INIM) mentioned that consumption increased by almost fifteen million kilograms compared to the previous year.
Yerba mate also has a strong cultural component within Latin America. The famous Argentinean announcer “Lalo” Mir gave a very emotional monologue about this infusion on Radio Miter, saying that “it is the only thing that is in every house always. With inflation, with hunger, with the military, with democracy ”. In addition, he added a strong component of solidarity, to the point that, if one day there is no mate, "a neighbor has and gives you" because drinking a mate almost always involves sharing a moment.
Therefore, regardless of what it may mean in terms of sentimentality and community, we decided to find out what are the real benefits that yerba mate brings to the body.
What are the health benefits of yerba mate?
In Perfil, an Argentine media outlet, they comment that mate is the favorite infusion of all Argentines, although there is an aspect that is almost never taken into account, but which is also important: its medicinal properties.
In this sense, the agricultural engineer and taster of Yerba Mate from the local company CBSé, Josefina Armanares, commented that it has "a high nutritional content" since it is capable of providing vitamins A, B, C, and E, in addition to minerals and proteins, since it has twelve essential amino acids.
Similarly, the biochemist and yerba mate specialist, Rafael Pérez Elizalde, mentioned that it has a high stimulant and antidepressant function, stimulating the central nervous system and being key to mental activities. Proof of this is that this infusion is popular with young students.
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Yerba mate is also linked with weight loss. Basically, it has some antioxidant properties that act as diuretics, preventing fluid retention and helping to eliminate hunger. Instead of eating something, a person can have a mate and overcome his craving, something ideal for diets.
What else do we know about its effects?
In terms of prevention, it has important properties when regulating intestinal transit, in the same way, it helps to reduce bad cholesterol, preventing fats from accumulating in the arteries. This may be important in reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes.
This can be corroborated with the newspaper Página 12, which mentioned a scientific study of real cases carried out by the Institute of Clinical and Sanitary Effectiveness (IECS) through its Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Health for South America (Cescas), with the help of the Conicet and the National Institute of Yerba Mate (INYM).
Throughout the two years that the study lasted, it was possible to see how, with higher consumption of mate, a reduction in this pathology appears, affecting approximately one in ten Argentine adults. The study was made on more than 2,500 people, from an age range between 36 and 74 years.
In this way, it was seen that those who took more than 550 milliliters of mate a day had a lower percentage of risk of developing diabetes in contrast to those who consumed less than 100 milliliters. The result, according to the researcher at the IECS and the Conicet, Natalia Elorriaga, is "encouraging, because it allows us to generate theories for the future".