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Health Benefits

There are 196 volatile (or active) chemical compounds found in the Yerba Mate plant. Of those, 144 are also found in green tea. Yerba Mate contains 11 polyphenols (see table below). Polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals (phyto- meaning plant) are recently-discovered compounds that act as powerful antioxidants and are considered to exhibit anti-cancer effects in mammals by strengthening an organism's natural defenses and protecting it against cellular destruction (i.e. lycopene in tomatoes, flavonoids in blueberries, and isoflavones in soy). The polyphenol concentration of Mate has also shown a strong correlation to its overall antioxidant capacity. Furthermore, polyphenolic compounds found in Mate tea differ significantly from green tea because Mate tea contains high concentration of chlorogenic acid and no catechins. As a result, mate consumption complements green/black tea use quite well.

Polyphenol
Black Tea
Yerba Mate
Caffeic acid
X
 
X
Caffeine
X
X
X
Caffeoyl derivatives
 
 
X
Caffeoylshikimic acid
 
 
X
Catechin
X
X
 
Catechin gallate
 
X
 
Chlorogenic acid
 
 
X
Coumaric acid
X
 
 
Epicatechin gallate
X
X
 
Epigallocatechin
X
 
 
Epigallocatechin gallate
X
 
 
Feruloylquinic acid
 
 
X
Gallic acid
X
X
 
Gallocatechin gallate
X
X
 
Kaempferol
X
X
X
Myricetin
X
X
 
Procyanidin
 
X
 
Quercetin
X
X
X
Quinic acid
X
 
X
Rutin
X
X
X
Theaflavin
 
X
 
Theobromine
 
X
X
Source: de Mejia, Elvira. A Comprehensive Review of Yerba Mate.


In addition to polyphenols, Yerba Mate leaves contain saponins (In fact, one recent study yielded 3 new saponins in the Yerba Mate leaf!) Saponins are phytochemicals that have been found to specifically stimulate the immune system and aid the body in protecting against disease. They possess significant anti-inflammatory properties. The immune system, a critical collection of biological structures and processes, is important to keep as strong as possible. With so many medications being prescribed for immune disorders these days; write yourself off of that e-prescribing program and consider Yerba Mate as a natural way to strengthen your body's defense.

In 2005, researchers at the University of Illinois studied 25 different types of mate. They found the tea to contain "higher levels of antioxidants than green tea"... and, based on cell studies, "may help prevent oral cancer." Other studies have shown yerba mate to possess up to 90% more metabolism-boosting nutrients than green tea!

Our studies show that some of the most important antioxidant enzymes in the body are induced by this herbal tea. - Elvira de Mejia, Lead Researcher at U. of Illinois

Mate also contains high concentrations of inorganic compounds. The minerals aluminum, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, potassium, and zinc are of particular interest due to their importance in human metabolism and development.

Each infusion of Mate contains:
Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex
Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus
Additional Compounds: Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.

According to Dr. Mowrey, Director of Mountainwest Institute of Herbal Sciences, one group of investigators from the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society concluded that Yerba Mate contains "practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life." They focused especially on Pantothenic Acid, remarking that it is "rare to find a plant with so much of this significant and vital nutrient. . . It is indeed difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value."

In addition, results from a study done by researchers at the University of Madrid assert a high content of mineral elements, especially K, Mg, and Mn, in Mate. They considered those findings "to be of great relevance" to the nutritional value of Mate infusions.

 

Aviva Yerba Mate Nutritional Analysis from Medallion Labs
Click Here for details!

 

I take a multi-vitamin with antioxidants, why would the nutrients in Yerba Mate be significant to me?
Studies have linked dietary levels of antioxidants, such as vitamins E or C, beta-carotene or lycopene, with a lower risk of cancer and heart disease. However, research has shown little if any risk reduction with pill supplements containing these antioxidants in isolated pure forms. Researchers believe the health benefits of antioxidants, in fact, may be due to their particular forms in foods, to other substances found in foods, and/or their interactive effects or synergy within the natural plant. In a nutshell, eating whole foods (fruits and vegetables) containing vitamins and antioxidants proves more beneficial than supplementing with pills!