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How to lower cholesterol : Mate Tea Lowers Cholesterol

Updated on January 1, 2015

What is Mate tea?

The mate tea is a drink made from Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis). This herb has been prepared as a drink since pre-Columbian times in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. In the sixteenth century, the Spaniards proved they loved the food. Yerba mate can also be consumed in other ways.

Mate has a bitter taste and is usually consumed in southern Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Among the nutrients of Yerba mate there are the methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine), phenolic compounds, flavonoids and saponins.

The methylxanthines increase athletic and cognitive performance after periods of stress or sleep deprivation and stimulate fat burning. The phenolic compounds in Yerba mate have antioxidant actions and help fight diabetes. While the saponins are substances with anti-inflammatory effect that assist in reducing the cholesterol.

Main nutrients of mate

The mate tea has vitamin B1. All vitamins belonging to the B complex helps our body cells, primarily to assist in the metabolism of oxygen and glucose. The B1, moreover, this action is mainly in neurons, cells that make up our brain.

The drink is also a source of manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, chromium, copper, zinc and nickel that are important to human health due to its importance in metabolism and development of the organism. The mate tea is also rich in caffeine. This nutrient is a stimulant to enhance athletic ability and cognitive performance after periods of stress or sleep deprivation. By having thermogenic effect, it also stimulates fat burning, helping in weight loss.

The main chemical components of Yerba mate are methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine), which aid in weight loss and has a diuretic action, the phenolic compounds, which possess strong antioxidant action and saponins, which has an anti-inflammatory and choleretic (promotes bile production) effect .

Main nutrients

Mate tea - 1 liter (RDA)
30 kcal
0 g
1 g
10 mg
20 mg
2.7 mg
50 mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
8.9 mg
Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate

Benefits of Yerba Mate

Lowers cholesterol: Yerba mate is rich in saponins, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, and phenolic compounds, which possess strong antioxidant action.These nutrients contribute to the reduction of total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, LDL. This is because it help block the absorption of cholesterol in small intestine and also inhibits the synthesis of lipids in the liver.

Good for diabetics: The mate is interesting for type 2 diabetics because it helps to decrease blood glucose. Those responsible for this are the phenolic compounds and they can act in two possible ways.

At first, the phenolic compounds may inhibit an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of glucose by the liver and in the second they decrease the ability of the glucose receptor in the intestines causing decreased absorption of sugar.

Protects the heart: By decreasing the concentration of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in 0.85%, Yerba mate also benefits the heart. According to the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, for each 1% reduction in HbA1c, the risk of myocardial infarction fall about 14% and the chances of microvascular complications are reduced by approximately 37%. Importantly, for individuals who have high blood pressure or a heart condition the use of mate tea as well as other food rich in caffeine is contraindicated.

Helps lose weight: The mate tea has methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) in its composition. These substances give the tea thermogenic effect, because it speeds up the metabolism and increases energy expenditure at rest.This mechanism increases the fat burning, so the drink can contribute to weight loss.

Diuretic action: The methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) present in mate tea also possess diuretic properties. Thus, the diuretic action of the drink helps in removing toxins that are harmful to the body and hinder weight loss.

Improves digestion: The saponins present in mate tea assist in the release of digestive juices, especially bile, therefore, may facilitate the digestion of food.

Antioxidant effect: Phenolic compounds in mate tea are nutrients that have more antioxidant activity, especially chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants have positive effects on the aforementioned problems, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart complications. Antioxidants are also essential for physically active since they produce more free radicals. Moreover, by fighting free radicals in the body, the phenolic compounds can reduce cellular aging and risk for certain cancers. However, there is no research demonstrating the anticancer ability of Yerba mate.

Good for the Brain: The mate tea has large amounts of vitamin B1 which is good for the functioning of brain. Furthermore, methylxanthines (caffeine and theobromine) present in mate tea increases cognitive performance after periods of stress and sleep deprivation.

How to make Yerba Mate tea

People who are more sensitive to caffeine, developing some type of gastric burning like heartburn should avoid consumption of maté. Also due to caffeine, tea is not recommended for people with insomnia and generally is not recommended to consume them before bed.

Risks of excessive consumption
Consumption of mate tea beyond the recommended daily one liter can do harm. This is because it is rich in caffeine in large quantities can cause insomnia, tachycardia, gastritis, it increases gastric secretion.

Where to find
The mate, essential for the preparation of tea, can be found in food stores and in supermarkets.


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    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I'm a tea (and coffee) drinker but have never heard of this tea. Sounds very interesting; will note it down on my list and will grab it next. I love experimenting with tea, in fact but this will be very useful for my hubby with pretty high cholesterol.

      Good useful hub! Pinning and sharing!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I think e beed to start drinking yerba mate! Although we live in S. America, it is not a beverage commonly seen in Peru. But we know some Paraguayans who take their yerba mate with them and sip on it all day. It must be an acquired taste. This is a very well written article. Thanks!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I heard that this tea was good for the health but I didn't know about cholesterol. I try to avoid caffein in general so may be I would try it early in the morning and not too concentrated.

      I saw people drink a lot of this tea in Buenos Aires with the special cup and straw that you show at the top!

      Thank you for sharing!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      This is a good topic. Informative and useful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Shared.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This looks interesting, certainly one to try.

      Thank you, voting up and useful.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 4 years ago from northeastern US

      yerba mate has also been associated with a lowered risk of liver cancer.

    • healthcarepro profile image

      healthcarepro 4 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I'm definitely going to try this-- but not at bedtime, for sure. Thanks for the very interesting information.