High cholesterol is a problem that affects many Brazilians, patients who need to always keep an eye on what they eat to keep their levels under control. Some foods, however, have the ability to lower and control cholesterol, and mate tea is a great ally. This drink is already well known in the southern region of the country, however, it is increasingly being introduced in the daily life of the entire Brazilian territory.

Mate tea and its general properties

Produced from roasted yerba mate, the tea has a history. Since pre-Columbian times, mate tea has been produced in the territories of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Among the nutrients found in the herb, methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine), phenolic compounds, saponins and flavonoids are highlighted. These serve to improve athletic and cognitive performance, stimulate fat burning, are antioxidants, help fight diabetes and are great anti-inflammatory, thus helping to reduce cholesterol.

The drink also has an excellent concentration of vitamin B1 – which is excellent in maintaining the cells that form the brain -, manganese, magnesium, iron, chromium, copper, potassium, zinc and nickel. It is also possible to find thermogenic effects in the caffeine contained in mate tea, stimulating fat burning. The tea has a diuretic, antioxidant and choleretic action.

Mate tea for cholesterol

As it is rich in saponins – which have an anti-inflammatory effect – mate tea contributes positively to reducing total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL). Together with phenolic compounds – which have an antioxidant effect -, saponins are able to block the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine, also inhibiting its synthesis in the liver.

In research, the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) found that after 40 days of consumption of approximately one liter of mate tea daily in people with dyslipidemia (a disease that changes the levels of fat in the blood) showed very interesting results not to use of medicines for the disease. About 4.6% of total cholesterol and 8.6% of bad cholesterol had been lowered.

How to consume?

To prepare mate tea, just leave a few leaves to steep with hot water – prefer filtered water. To prepare a liter of the drink, use 20 grams of the toasted yerba mate leaves. Bring the mixture to the fire and, as soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat and let it steep for five minutes. Drink three cups of tea before or during main meals. Yerba mate can be found in health food stores.

care in consumption

Always avoid excess! Because it is rich in caffeine, mate tea taken in large amounts can cause insomnia, anxiety, tachycardia and even gastritis, as it increases gastric secretion. People with heartburn and caffeine sensitivity, or problems with insomnia, should avoid drinking the beverage. Prefer to use mate tea as a treatment only after discussing it with your doctor.