Yerba Mate, my partner and ally
As I sit down to write this article, this is the situation: there is background music, I am in an armchair, I write on the computer and, of course, I have a mate by my side. My partner and ally, mate, which is a big part of my daily rituals that make me healthy, focused and productive. I’ll tell you the secrets of what I do that, modesty aside, is a wonder.
The beginning of my journey with Yerba Mate
Although my parents drink mate everyday, I only started drinking it at the age of 16, with my friends. I don’t know if I should called it mate, because it was cold, washed (lavado) and super sweet. Without a doubt, it was not the mate I would choose today, but it was what I began with. As you can see, there are options for all tastes and preferences.
A few years ago, I suffered from chronic gastritis. I consider myself almost an expert on the subject; I know what to eat, what not to eat, and I added mate to the list of what not to eat, or drink. But, little by little, I found a way to drink it again. I didn’t drink the first mates, which are usually the strongest, and I started to discover herbs, seeds and roots to improve my digestion. Anyway, I don’t recommend drinking it when you suffer from gastritis, so you don’t worsen the symptoms.
How to prepare the healthiest mate
However, Yerba Mate is loaded with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, so there are more reasons to drink it than to not. Below are a few recommendations I have when it comes to what you blend your mate with to ensure it’s the healthiest it can be for you.
I use organic yerba whenever I can. This means that it is free of agrochemicals, which aren’t good for your health. I prefer the Anna Park brand, which is organic, ecological, and the smoothest I’ve tried thus far. Unlike the rest of the herbs, they leave it “parked” (in storage, which is a part of the production process) for 1.5 years. The parking of industrial and commercially-produced mates is usually from 15 to 30 days, and other brands park it for up to three months. Yerba that isn’t well-parked can cause digestive orders, which is a major issue for someone like me.
Putting stevia in your mate is a good way to naturally sweeten it. I use real and unrefined stevia, which comes in whole leaf form. It’s also possible to use the powdered version, which is from ground leaves. Either way, I only put a little in, or nothing, because I don’t like it very sweet; just a touch.
Coriander and fennel seeds, among many other things, improve digestion, favor the elimination of toxins and alleviate the symptoms of gastritis.
I also cut ginger into slices and put it directly into my thermos. I put approximately 1cm / liter of water. Use either the root or the powdered version. If you opt for the latter, put half a teaspoon in your mate. I particularly use ginger because it improves digestion and reduces inflammation, but it has many other benefits. It is excellent for flus, colds, and is also used as an aphrodisiac, antidepressant, way to decrease headaches, menstrual pains and more.
Drinking Yerba Mate for good health
For me, drinking mate is a ceremony that I enjoy a lot. It is my great ally when I’m alone, and just another addition to the group when talking with friends. In general, I try to drink it in the morning, because having caffeine (or mateína, as it is commonly referred to) is energizing. Days I don’t drink mate seem to have no end (it’s a joke, always drink in moderation).
It is a stimulator of the nervous system, promotes mental activity and the ability to concentrate. However, to some people, it is “electric,” which is why my recommendation always, as with everything, is to find out what’s best for you. If you suffer from insomnia or anxiety, and drink mate regularly, drink leaving it for a few days to see how you feel. Not drinking it may make you feel better or worse. On the other hand, mate acts as a natural laxative and diuretic, regulates cholesterol, is good for the heart and increases physical resistance.
In the summer, many people take tereré, which is the cold version of mate, with citrus fruits, but I honestly don’t like it much, so whether it’s warm or cold outside doesn’t affect which I drink; I always like it hot.
If you still don’t drink mate, and if the ritual seduces you, my suggestion is that you try different herbs and add ones that create the flavor you desire. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy find one way to enjoy mate!
– I have a degree in Advertising and Institutional Communication and a Health Coach in Integrative Nutrition certified by Institute for Integrative Nutrition of New York.
– I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and passionate about healthy living!
– My focus is to raise awareness and help people through diet, habits and lifestyle. Throughout these years I discovered that it is necessary to listen to my body (body, mind and soul) which is what has many of my answers. Today I know that you can, from the natural, achieve much, everything and more!
– Work with personalized and group coaching programs; talks and workshops.
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