The most precious thing in human life is not luxury goods, cars, houses or super clothes, but our health, something that in case of loss we will not be able to buy for any, even the greatest money. Therefore, taking care of them should even become a habit, a habit, and such systematic action is the best guarantee of effective protection against diseases or other equally troublesome infections. Typical pharmacological agents can be taken for this purpose, but when used for a longer period of time they have quite unpleasant and burdensome side effects, so it is better to rely on typically natural methods. One of the most frequently recommended is regular herbal infusions from plants with numerous and proven health properties, such as the extremely popular yerba mate, or extract from the Paraguay holly.
- 1 Paraguay holly – known and appreciated throughout South America
- 2 Yerba mate – which parts of the plant we can use
- 3 Yerba mate – properties essential for health
- 4 Yerba mate – health claims confirmed by experts
- 5 Yerba mate – slimming properties
- 6 Yerba mate – how to prepare an aromatic beverage
Paraguay holly – known and appreciated throughout South America
Yerba mate came to our continent from the basin of the Parana River, located in South America, where it was a favorite drink of Indian tribes inhabiting these distant regions of the globe. For centuries, Indians have been eating holly leaves as a popular substance with valuable properties, the most important of which was to provide them with a lot of energy and remove the feeling of fatigue that is necessary for hunting. Despite its enormous popularity, the plant grows naturally in only four countries, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, but over time, plantations were established elsewhere, where it is cultivated on an industrial scale. It can be safely said that in the countries in this part of the world it became a national drink, and its great lover is, among others, Pope Francis, who came from Argentina. The holly was brought to Europe by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, but its greatest popularity can be observed right now.
Yerba mate – which parts of the plant we can use
The Paraguay holly is a plant of the holly species, evergreen shrubs, although its height reaching up to 15 m is rather similar to trees. However, the average height of the cultivar reaches a maximum of 6-8 m, with a smooth, white trunk and 5 cm long, serrated leaves, dark on the top and light green on the bottom. The small flowers, gathered in bunches of white or creamy colour, turn into characteristic fruits, fleshy purple or dark red berries. Dried, properly prepared twigs and leaves are used to make an aromatic infusion called yerba mate. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in our country make it impossible to grow holly, which requires much higher temperatures for proper growth, between 23 and 25 degrees during the day and as many as 18 to 20 degrees at night.
Yerba mate – properties essential for health
Fortunately, yerba mate is now available not only in healthy, eco-friendly food stores, so we can fully appreciate its qualities, but it really has a lot to boast about. In every small leaf you will find a whole lot of valuable nutrients, in perfectly matched doses, and it is these that have a particularly beneficial effect on our body, especially such components of the holly as..:
- vitamin B1, thiamine, without which the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in food cannot occur properly;
- Vitamin B2;
- Vitamin B3, a powerful health-critical tool that lowers cholesterol to a safe level and thus avoids many serious diseases;
- Vitamin B5, especially important for the health of various parts of the body, synthesizing hormones important for it, improving the condition of the skin, hair and nails;
- Vitamin B6, which supports the work of the heart, regulates blood pressure and nervous system, takes part in the process of red blood cells production;
- Vitamin C, not without reason called vitamin C, is of great importance for the proper functioning of our immune system,
- Vitamins E and H;
- caffeine, and as we know, nothing gives us more energy;
- the most important minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus;
Yerba mate – health claims confirmed by experts
Let’s face it, there aren’t many other herbs in our first-aid kits that have such a composition. Therefore, it is worth considering replacing them with yerba mate, not only tasty, although you need to get used to this taste, but also having health properties confirmed by many specialists. Studies have shown that regular drinking of holly tea not only improves general health, but is also important for the treatment and prevention of many serious diseases. However, due to the possibility of overdose of caffeine is not recommended to consume too much caffeine, and definitely drinking yerba mate should be avoided by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Other, not too harmful side effects are in turn related to diuretic properties, which can lead to dehydration if overdosed, but if the recommended amounts are adhered to, there is no risk of harming oneself.
The most important health benefits of yerba mate
- strong but safe stimulating properties, thanks to caffeine content, which not only gives a daily dose of energy, but also removes the feeling of physical and mental fatigue;
- brain oxygenation resulting in better concentration and absence of sleep problems and sleep deprivation despite the stimulant effect of yerba mate, helping to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimera and Parkinson’s disease;
- antidepressant effect, improving mood and removing unfavourable states of nervous tension;
- Improvement of the functioning of the circulatory system, better blood flow by reducing the tension of smooth muscles in blood vessels, lowering too high blood pressure that may endanger health;
- improving the functioning of the kidneys and the entire urinary tract;
- faster recovery of damaged body cells;
- increase immunity;
- regeneration of stomach and intestinal walls is particularly important for people with ulcer disease;
- thorough cleansing of the body from toxins and other equally harmful by-products of digestion and metabolism;
- antifungal, anti-edema, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic and strengthening effects of some analgesics;
- DNA protection against damage;
- Strengthening joints and bones thanks to minerals such as sodium and calcium, while others, including vitamins, improve the condition of hair, nails and skin, helping to remove unsightly acne lesions or annoying dandruff. It also helps to protect teeth against caries;
- lower cholesterol levels, minimize the risk of heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis or stroke;
- regulation and reducing to a safe level the amount of sugar in the blood, increasing its assimilation, which is responsible for the chlorogenic acid also contained in yerba mate. Infusion can be an important element of effective diabetic prophylaxis;
- regulation of the metabolism itself, increased bile secretion allowing for effective fat digestion, which is important from the point of view of weight loss. The catechins that are part of the bile also reduce their absorption;
- no yoyo effect during the weight loss treatment;
- better intestinal peristalsis and therefore no problems with emptying, especially with painful constipation.
Yerba mate – slimming properties
The amount of pro-health properties of yerba mate may come as a surprise to us at first, but it is good to replace most of the hot drinks consumed during the day. The benefits will be immediate, and after some time we will also notice a rapidly falling weight and, most importantly, without the mentioned yoyo effect. This slimming effect of the Paraguay holly is also confirmed by professional dieticians, who emphasize its high effectiveness, but only when it becomes one of the elements of a carefully composed diet. Without a proper diet, low-calorie meals full of substances essential for health, combined with a large portion of exercise, we cannot count on obtaining the expected results. However, the yerba mate effectively supports these important processes through its influence on digestion and metabolism, as well as through its considerable intensification and regulation of these important processes.
The most important action for the loss of weight is to stop the excessive and often difficult to control appetite, without which we constantly reach for unhealthy and what to hide here, fattening snacks. The infusion effectively deceives the brain, which receives a saturation signal, and allows it to better control even compulsive eating and eating at night. In addition, we can count on full detoxification, thorough cleansing from toxins, another factor directly responsible for weight gain, unfortunately often underestimated. To sum up, we better grass all dishes, burn fat tissue faster, and thanks to its diuretic properties we also remove excess water from the body.
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Yerba mate – how to prepare an aromatic beverage
The ever-increasing popularity of the yerba mate automatically translates into increased availability and we no longer need to look only for it in specialist health food stores. We can find it without any major problems even in supermarkets, which have introduced departments for lovers of ecology to meet the needs of customers. Usually we buy dried leaves and holly stems perfectly suitable for brewing, for which we can use special vessels, making it a complicated but fascinating ceremonial, similar to Japanese green tea brewing. Pour the measured amount of dry matter into a mattress or a gourd, pour with water at a temperature of 70 – 80 degrees, brew for at least five minutes and the taste can be improved by adding a teaspoon of honey or a slice of lemon. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from using a regular cup, throwing the yerba mate bag, also available in the express version, into it and replacing it with a daily morning coffee drunk every day.
I am 31 years old and I am passionate about everything associated with a healthy lifestyle. I try to live according to its principles, and I want to share my experiences with you on this blog. You can find here the necessary information about slimming diets that give the best results in the shortest time, and also reviews of dietary supplements supporting this process, in order to help you choose the most effective ones. I am also waiting for your comments, which certainly will not remain unanswered.