Having spent most of his life in Argentina, Pope Francis loves the South American drink mate so much that it’s practically a staple in his diet! Mate, Argentina’s national drink, is tea made by steeping the leaves and stems of the yerba mate tree. It is also known as the Jesuit’s tea because they were the ones responsible for the spread of mate’s consumption.
Dr. Ciro Vestita, a well-known phytotherapist and dietician, explains the wonders of the Pope’s favorite drink. Read on!
Energy in a cup
“Just like tea and coffee, mate has properties that influence the nervous system. This is because of its components, which include caffeine,” the dietician shares. He added that mate is an energizing drink that contributes to concentrationl. However, because two cups of mate are equivalent to about four cups of espresso, it is not recommended for people with heart issues, hypertension, and pregnant women.
Mate is an excellent source of mineral salts, said Dr. Vestita. “In particular, potassium, and to a lesser extent, magnesium. That’s why during the summer, consumed fresh or at room temperature, it is an excellent ally to combat dehydration and reintegrate the salts lost through sweating.”
Full of vitamins
Mate is also chock-full of Vitamins A and B, but it is especially high in antioxidants that help slow down the aging process. It is also good for weight loss and bone health and is considered by some people to be similar to herbal green tea. But Dr. Vestita has a word of advice: Do not drink mate too hot! Doing so puts you at possible risk of mouth tumors. He added that moderation is key when it comes to drinking mate.