The day breaks with grey clouds stretched over the sky and a light, spitting rain. It seems like autumn came over-night and you wonder where the sweltering heat of summer has gone. Though the sun still pierces through the clouds from time to time, something is different; the air has changed. It’s crisp outside now, with a faint smell of damp leaves and muddled earth. Summer is gone, and your body knows it too. And just like that, it’s time to stop drinking cold drinks in favor of something more cozy; something that warms you up from the inside-out like a whiskey or a cup of herbal tea. But better and more satisfying than any of those things is mate.
People drink mate year-round; sitting on park benches in the spring or splayed out in the sand at the beach, but for me it’s always best when it’s cold outside. I love my cup of morning coffee as much, if not more, than the next girl. But mate is different. Drinking it is almost a ceremony. You need mate in your life, and this is why.
Mate aids digestion. If things are not moving as smoothly as you might like, or too smoothly for that matter, try drinking some mate. It’s a natural cure for constipation, diarrhea, and other digestion issues.
Mate is high in antioxidants. According to some sources, mate has about 90% more antioxidants than green tea!
Mate supports cardiovascular health. The antioxidants and amino acids in mate help cholesterol and fat move through your bloodstream so that they don’t accumulate on artery walls. It also helps prevent the hardening of the arteries and blood clots that may cause heart attacks.
Mate also is said to help with seasonal allergies and boost your immune system.
Here’s all the other great stuff it has:
Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex
Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc
Additional Compounds: Carotene, Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Inositol, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Tannins, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.
Better concentration and mental clarity.
It’s no wonder college kids are drinking mate while they study–it really helps with concentration. Mate makes you feel more productive and focused, but with a mental peace and clarity different from coffee. It’s like liquid meditation; the closest thing to a magic productivity pill that you can find. Legally, I mean.
After a few sips of mate you feel energized and alert, but not in that shaky, jittery way that coffee makes you feel. Mate has just enough caffeine to give you energy and wake you up without interfering with your ability to sit still or relax.
Half the time when we feel like eating, we’re not even hungry, just bored. We want something to snack on, something to hold, something to chew or sip or eat. Mate is the perfect solution; it fills you up and helps suppress your appetite.
In some South American countries drinking mate is a social activity. You get together to “tomar mate”. It’s a time to share with friends and family, to sit down and partake in something communal. The act of passing around the mate is a special time to connect with the people you care about or a great way to break the ice with new friends.
The Pope drinks it.
But Mary, I don’t know where or how to get started drinking mate! A great place to buy your organic, non-smoked yerba mate, where we buy all of ours, is Mate Factor. This is the best yerba I’ve ever had: strong, fresh, and BRIGHT green. You know it’s gotta be good if it really looks like plant leaves. Sometimes in the grocery store the mate is brownish… it’s been dried and smoked and god knows what else. Do yourself a favor and buy the best of the best from Maté Factor.
Stay tuned for some great mate recipes. Happy sipping!