The tea-like beverage yerba mate, long used in South America for its medicinal properties, has become more known in the United States over recent years. The purported benefits of yerba mate include helping with depression, issues relating to attention and focus and hypertension. A study conducted in Denmark and published in the "Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics" in 2001 suggests that yerba mate may also be helpful for weight loss. This function is due in part to yerba mate causing delayed gastric emptying, better digestion and being rich in minerals. Those agitated by caffeine products should not consume yerba mate.
Delayed Gastric Emptying
One of the ways that yerba mate promotes weight loss is through a process called delayed gastric emptying. In "Turn Off the Hunger Switch Naturally," authors Paul Rivas and E.A. Tremblay define this condition as one in which the stomach remains full for a longer period of time, sending this message to the brain. Rivas and Tremblay also note that ultrasonic testing of patients confirmed this process.
Yerba mate also seems to help digestion, which may aid in weight loss. Raintree Nutrition's "Tropical Plant Database," authored by Dr. Leslie Taylor, states that yerba mate relaxes smooth muscle, increases bile flow and inhibits blood vessel constriction. When any of these functions of the body are not in proper working order, excess weight may remain on the body. Those suffering from IBS or diarrhea should take caution when drinking yerba mate.
Rich in Minerals
Yerba mate also has high mineral content. Minerals play an important role in many of the body's functions, including maintaining proper weight. Appetite, hunger, metabolism, blood-glucose levels and calorie-burning are each impacted by minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and copper, all found in yerba mate. Caution should be taken if separately supplementing with any of these minerals, or taking a daily multivitamin that includes these minerals, so as to not exceed recommended daily allowances.
- Yerba mate cups with dry yerba mate leaves image by eAlisa from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.