Superfood Spotlight: Yerba Mate Mint Latte
by Vickie Chin on Mar 17, 2020
In case you missed it, our last blog post of 2019 was a roundup of all of the exciting things that went down last year, which you can read here. One of those exciting moments was when we introduced a fifth member to our instant probiotic latte family - our Yerba Mate Mint Latte with Matcha and Probiotics! Just like the rest of our instant superfood lattes, our Yerba Mate Mint Latte has a base of coconut milk powder, so all you need to do is add water. Of course, it also offers 1 billion heat and shelf stable probiotics, helping to nourish your gut microbiome with each and every sip.
As a superfood company, it’s our job to have the inside scoop on all things superfoods, but for many, some superfoods are still relatively new - and this includes yerba mate.
So, what is Yerba Mate?
Name: Ilex paraguariensis
AKA: Yerba Mate
Organic Remedy: Energy, focus, antioxidant support
Native To: South America
Type: Shrub, tree
Similar To: Holly
Supplement Forms: Beverage, tea, latte
Traditionally, yerba mate leaves are harvested from the yerba mate tree and are used to make the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. The yerba mate plant has been a dietary staple for many years due to its energetic properties and medicinal benefits. South American Natives long believed that yerba mate would help them to increase vitality, sustain life and even heal them when they were sick. Yerba mate is somewhat of a spiritual herb and has been used for worship during religious and tribal ceremonies for many years.
Not many plants in the world produce caffeine and of the few, yerba mate is one of them. The tea that you get from steeping ground yerba leaves contains a good amount of caffeine, which is why traditionally it has been consumed for its energizing properties. Yerba mate is described as having a smooth traditional tea flavour but also containing some notes reminiscent of chocolate. All of this while giving you the healing properties of herbal tea!
Other than energy, what is Yerba Mate good for?
For a lot of people, caffeine from coffee can also come with what are known as ‘caffeine jitters’ as well as a caffeine crash sometime after. Yerba mate however, does not produce this jitter effect, making it very attractive for people seeking out the energizing effects of coffee without the jitters or the crash. Yerba mate typically contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee but more caffeine than a cup of black tea. One of its other benefits other than its ability to boost energy is its antioxidant content. The high antioxidant content found in yerba mate is often compared to that of green tea, however the two teas have very different arrays of antioxidants.
Green tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate compounds while yerba is mainly comprised of chlorogenic acid. While both antioxidant compounds have shown the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and even cancer, all antioxidants offer different benefits so it’s important to provide your body with differing types and sources. We know that antioxidants reduce oxidative stress which is often found to be the root of illness and disease - so by consuming these foods rich in antioxidants, you’re helping your body prevent these unwanted circumstances. Yerba mate also contains a variety of polyphenols and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese, all of which are essential to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Main Benefits of Yerba Mate:
- Boosts focus and increases energy - thanks to its caffeine content
- May aid in regulating bowel movements
- Lowers LDL cholesterol - thanks to the antioxidants found in the tea
- Immune boosting - thanks again to those antioxidants!
Traditionally, yerba mate leaves are ground and steeped in hot or cold water until a tea is produced. The tea is described as having a slightly bitter and astringent taste similar to many other teas. For some, it might be an acquired taste. Since gaining popularity in recent years, there are a number of ways to enjoy yerba mate.
What have we done?
As we mentioned above, although yerba mate contains antioxidants, the type of antioxidants differs from those found in green tea. This is one of the reasons why we decided to pair our yerba mate with our premium matcha in our proprietary blend. This way, you’re getting the benefits from both plants, plus you’re getting a bit of extra jitter free energy from the matcha! If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of matcha, you should know that it’s not only packed with antioxidants but also chlorophyll and L-theanine, an amino acid known for its ability to help you relax while reducing stress and anxiety. We also decided to add a hint of mint to our yerba mate blend, delivering a cool and refreshing taste as you sip down all of the amazing benefits that this blend has to offer.