Yerba mate, a traditional South American beverage, has gained popularity worldwide for its unique flavor and health benefits. This herbal tea, prepared by steeping the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, is known for its natural caffeine content and various antioxidants. However, the question arises: Is it okay to drink yerba mate every day?
Like many things in life, moderation is key. Drinking yerba mate in moderation is generally considered safe for most individuals. The caffeine content in yerba mate is lower than that of coffee, making it a suitable choice for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake. Yerba mate can provide a gentle energy boost and mental alertness without the jitters often associated with excessive coffee consumption.
Yerba mate is also very rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been linked to health benefits. It has more antioxidants than green tea and is considered one of the best drinks in the world by the popular magazine CNN Travel. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which are associated with various chronic diseases. Regular consumption of yerba mate contributes to a strengthened immune system and improved cardiovascular health. It is also an important appetite suppressant, making it an excellent aid for diets.
However, it’s important to be mindful of some potential downsides. Excessive consumption of yerba mate (two or more liters a day), especially when consumed very hot, has been associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Not because of the yerba mate itself but for the scalding hot water. High water temperature can seriously damage the esophagus lining over time. To mitigate this risk, it is highly recommened to keep your water temperature around 80 – 85 celsius degrees at the most. Do not brew your yerba mate with boiling water ever.
Additionally, some persons might be more sensitive to caffeine in yerba mate. These individuals could experience side effects such as insomnia, nervousness, or an upset stomach if they consume it excessively. When we talk about excess, we mean an intake that exceeds a liter, say a liter and a half or more per day. It is also important to point out that drinking a liter of mate without changing the yerba is not the same as changing it two or three times until the liter is finished.
As with anything else, personal experience will tell us what amount of mate is right for us. On average, most drinkers enjoy a couple of sessions a day. With this we are going to be able to incorporate all the benefits that this wonderful drink has.
In conclusion, drinking yerba mate every day can be an excellent healthy habit as long as it’s done in moderation and with awareness of potential risks. It can offer a wide range of health benefits due to its antioxidants and moderate caffeine content. However, like any dietary choice, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust consumption based on how it makes you feel. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before making yerba mate a daily habit.