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Antioxidants in yerba mate. What are they and how do they affect your health?

2024-05-31
Antioxidants in yerba mate. What are they and how do they affect your health?

When reading about the properties of yerba mate, you will no doubt have come across information more than once about its high antioxidant content. Your favourite infusions are in fact rich in antioxidants, and can therefore have a positive impact on our health. How specifically do they work? This is precisely the question we will address today.

Summary:

  1. Antioxidants – a protective shield against free radicals. What are they and how do they work?
  2. Yerba mate. An excellent source of antioxidants!
  3. Yerba mate and its miraculous properties
  4. Antioxidants in yerba mate – the guardians of health
  5. Yerba mate – the elixir of youth and a healthy body!

Antioxidants – a protective shield against free radicals. What are they and how do they work?

In the busyness of everyday duties and worries, it is easy to forget the importance of taking care of our health. We look for magical ways to preserve the youth and vitality, reaching for artificial preparations and supplements. Meanwhile, nature itself offers us ready-made solutions – all we need to do is reach for yerba mate, a natural brew rich in antioxidants which protect our organism against free radicals like guardians!

Antioxidants are chemical compounds that play a key role in protecting our cells from damage caused by so-called free radicals. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting them. Free radicals are atoms found in every organism with one free electron. Looking for their “pair” and trying to “steal” the missing electron, free radicals attack other cells, leading to damage. In short, free radicals are unstable molecules that, if there are too many of them, can do many bad things to the human body. They cause oxidative stress, which in turn leads to an acceleration of the ageing process and cell death, and this can be the seed of dangerous diseases. The most common of these include a weakened nervous system and decreased immunity, heart disease or neurodegenerative diseases. In extreme cases, damage to the genetic material of cells and even cancer can occur. Antioxidants help to stop this process by “donating” the missing electron to the free radical. In practice, this leads to its neutralisation and expulsion from the system.

However, it should be noted, in certain quantities radicals prove to be beneficial, which manifests itself, for example, by combating certain microorganisms. Free radicals are formed naturally in the body, as a result of natural metabolic processes. Their excess can be the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or an unsuitable diet. Too many free radicals can even be caused by overtraining – even though it would seem that sport is healthy! Other causes mentioned are external factors such as air pollution or UV radiation. Serious problems can arise when there are too many radicals. According to scientists, it is therefore important to maintain a balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Unfortunately, this is not always easy. Some of the factors mentioned earlier are beyond our control. Luckily, there are natural ways to support the body in the fight against free radicals! A healthy, balanced diet is the key to providing the body with the right amount of antioxidants. These can be found in many foods, such as fruit, vegetables and nuts, as well as in drinks – especially green tea or yerba mate. It is the legendary brew of the Guarani Indians that is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants!

Yerba mate and antioxidants

Yerba mate. An excellent source of antioxidants!

In order to provide the body with an optimal amount of antioxidants, many people use various medical preparations. It turns out, however, that an appropriate diet is an equally good way to provide them. Antioxidants are abundant in many common fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, nuts, broccoli and garlic. Green tea is also identified as a source of antioxidants and is readily mentioned as part of a healthy diet or special menus. Of course, we have no intention of undermining this fact. However, it is worth pointing out that yerba mate contains more than three times as many antioxidants as green tea! In all the lists we are aware of, it appears at the top of substances with high antioxidant potential.

Yerba mate is an infusion prepared from the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis, a plant native to South America. It is a type of “herbal tea” traditionally consumed by the people of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Yerba mate is valued for its stimulating effects, but also for its numerous health benefits – thanks to which it is gaining increasing popularity worldwide. The infusion is rich in caffeine, making it an excellent alternative to coffee. It has a stimulating effect, improving concentration and boosting energy. In addition to caffeine, yerba mate is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. As a result, it supports health on many levels by providing essential nutrients. This proves that yerba mate is much more than simply a natural energy drink. Consumed regularly, it can be the key to health!

Yerba mate and its miraculous properties

Yerba mate is a true natural treasure that offers a wealth of health benefits. Regular consumption of the brew can significantly improve quality of life on many levels. Let's start with improving concentration. Thanks to its natural caffeine content, yerba mate has a stimulating effect, sharpening the senses and improving brain function. It is an ideal drink for students, white-collar workers and anyone who needs extra support in their daily intellectual challenges. Yerba mate supports the functioning of the digestive system. It aids digestion, cleanses the body of toxins and regulates intestinal function. It can also aid weight loss! The compounds in mate tea speed up metabolism, which helps to burn calories and reduce body fat. When combined with a proper diet and regular physical activity, yerba mate can be an effective tool in the fight against excess weight. Overall, yerba mate supports health in many ways. It contains a range of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the proper functioning of our body, supporting the nervous system, strengthening immunity and improving overall health. But a key role among the active substances contained in yerba mate is discovered by antioxidants, which are the subject of today's article. They help to neutralise free radicals and protect cells from damage. Thus, regular drinking of yerba mate can slow down the ageing process, improve skin condition and vitality.

Antyoksydanty w yerba mate – na straży zdrowia

Among the most important antioxidants contained in yerba mate are polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and catechins. These chemical compounds have extremely powerful antioxidant effects, which translate into numerous health benefits.

  • Polyphenols are organic chemical compounds that are found in yerba mate in particularly high amounts, surpassing even the polyphenol content of green tea. They act as powerful antioxidants that help to neutralise free radicals, protecting cells from damage. They slow down the ageing process of cells, which is particularly important for maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin and vitality of the body.
  • Chlorogenic acid is another important antioxidant present in yerba mate. It has the ability to inhibit lipid oxidation, which helps to protect cells from oxidative damage. Chlorogenic acid also supports glucose metabolism, which can be beneficial for people struggling with diabetes.
  • Caffeic acid, like chlorogenic acid, has strong antioxidant properties. It helps to neutralise free radicals, which contributes to protecting cells from damage and slows down the ageing process. In addition, caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory effects, which can support cardiovascular health.
  • Catechins are another group of powerful antioxidants present in yerba mate. They are known for their antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from oxidative damage. Catechins also support cardiovascular health, helping to lower cholesterol levels and improve circulation.

Yerba mate – the elixir of youth and a healthy body!

Yerba mate is a drink that is definitely worth including in your daily diet! Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, mate tea supports health on many levels. From protecting against free radicals, strengthening the immune system, to improving skin condition and supporting the fight against stress. The health benefits of yerba mate are invaluable. Try consuming yerba mate on a regular basis and see how many positive changes it can bring to your health!


Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Yerba mate, Antioxidant.
  2. C.I. Heck, E.G. de Mejia, Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations, J Food Sci, 2007.
  3. D.H. Bastos et al., Phenolic Antioxidants Identified by ESI-MS from Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and Green Tea (Camelia sinensis) Extracts, Molecules, 2007.

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