Mate is an infusion obtained from a plant native to South America. In this part of the world, it is a traditional drink prized for its many virtues and consumed for a very long time already. Today, the reputation of mate has gone far beyond borders and it has become essential, just like tea or coffee.
Discover the origins of this drink, its composition, its benefits, consumption precautions, but also how to choose and prepare it.
Mate is a traditional drink very popular in South America. More particularly in Uruguay and Argentina. It is also consumed a lot on the Brazilian and Paraguayan side.
Also called chimera in Portuguese, mate is obtained by infusion of the dried leaves of yerba mate, a plant belonging to the same family as holly. Note that after drying, the leaves are roasted and sprayed before being finally infused.
Mate is characterized by a rich composition, containing in particular vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, and B5 as well as calcium, minerals, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Other components like chlorophyll, polyphenols, tannin, carotene, and fatty acids make it a rich and appreciated natural drink.
However, the presence of alkaloids, caffeine, and theophylline should not be overlooked.
The benefits of mate
The different components of maté give it many beneficial properties. Here are a few.
Mate has antioxidant properties that cause it to slow down the effects of aging. It is a stimulating drink that strengthens the immune system. It also purifies the blood and would help prevent certain cancers.
Protect the heart
Research has shown that the drink protects the heart and blood vessels. It ensures a more fluid circulation of the blood and improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the various organs of the human body.
Stimulates the brain
Some research has shown that mate improves cognitive abilities. It helps improve logic and memory in the short or long term. It also increases the speed of the thinking process while strengthening alertness.
Effects on morale
In addition to sharpening the intelligence, mate has beneficial effects on morale, boosting both physically and emotionally. It is a particularly effective drink to obtain a “boost” effect.
Mate is a slimming drink. It is sometimes used as an appetite suppressant thanks to the caffeine it contains and can be mixed with various well-known slimming ingredients like guarana, originating from Amazon and damiane from Mexico.
Combined with other ingredients, mate improves the digestion process and prolongs the feeling of satiety: it is an interesting way to control appetite. In addition, it burns fat stored in the blood.
Some disadvantages to taking into account
Mate consumed excessively, can be dangerous for health.
Adverse effects to be aware of
Because of its action comparable to coffee, too high a dose of mate sometimes causes nausea, headache, and vomiting. Drinking can also cause sleep disturbances and = heart problems. Too regular consumption, even at low doses, could present a risk of dependence.
In addition, as a stimulant, too high an infusion causes excitement, nervousness, but also stress and sometimes anxiety.
Despite the fact that the plant does not contain necessarily dangerous components, Latin American researchers have claimed that mate is potentially carcinogenic. The manner in which the infusion is consumed and prepared is generally the main source of risk. Drinking too hot, the drink could affect the esophagus, mouth, and larynx, which can develop cancer cells.
How to choose your mate well?
Above all, it should be emphasized that the choice is above all a question of taste and habits.
Yerba mate is often presented in bulk. Today, you can find them at many stores, but it’s easier to choose online.
So make your selection according to your preferences and desires. Some matés have a more pronounced taste than others and the flavors differ according to each producer. For your first time, start with a soft, light drink.
If you prefer to experience the true taste of Argentina, choose the yerba maté grown conventionally. If you are looking for a more bitter and stronger taste, make sure to choose the specialized ranges.
Method of preparation
There are different ways to prepare mate infusion. The effects of the drink do not differ.
The traditional method
In preparation for the old, first heat water to 70 or 80 ° C. Fill a calabash with mate 2/3 full. Tilt the container to stack and accumulate the leaves on one side only. First pour cold water into the empty part of the container to place the bombilla, this object that acts as a straw and filter, before adding the hot water prepared earlier. Add water and grass as the drink passes between the drinkers.
The amount of mate you need for this preparation is the same as the dose you use when serving in loose tea. First, wet the grass in cold water to enhance the flavor and take advantage of the nutrients. Then add hot water to let the drink sit for about 5 minutes at most, even with a higher dose.
The Gringo Style
It is a preparation that mixes the two previous methods. This involves putting mate in a large cup, adding cold water to it and letting it sit. Place the bombilla before filling the container with hot water. You add water and herbs to it as the drink loses flavor.
Mate is a tonic drink with multiple virtues to enjoy as an infusion. Operating with many benefits, it is nowadays more and more popular. To appreciate its flavor, savor this drink according to the rules and avoid excess!