A traditional plant from the forests of South America may be the next big diet breakthrough, holding important chemical keys to weight loss and a lean physique. Yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) is a tree cultivated in Paraguay, Brazil and northern Argentina.
For centuries, yerba maté has been consumed as a traditional tonic and natural stimulant beverage. The leaves of yerba maté are made into a hot or cold beverage, and this yerba maté “tea” is consumed to alleviate fatigue, suppress appetite, stimulate body and mind, and boost metabolism. Yerba maté also demonstrates 5-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity, which makes the herb of use in some cases of mild to moderate asthma. Over the past few years, various brands of yerba maté have shown up in the natural foods stores and increasingly in conventional food stores as well.
Yerba maté contains over 250 known natural compounds, most notably the alkaloids caffeine, theophylline and theobromine. These agents promote central nervous stimulation, and act as diuretics, causing the body to shed water. Additionally, yerba maté is rich in a group of compounds called the chlorogenic acids. These agents help to suppress appetite, regulate metabolism and inhibit fat production. This makes yerba maté an ideal agent in the fight against unwanted body fat.
Dried yerba maté naturally contains approximately 1 – 2 percent caffeine. But most significant is the chlorogenic acids value of yerba maté. Dried yerba maté naturally contains approximately 10 percent of this unique group of compounds. Chlorogenic acids also shows up in concentration in coffee, and this is why a shot of espresso after a meal can aid digestion, slow glucose release into the blood stream, and help to reduce production of fat.
There are several means by which weight loss and weight control can be achieved. Though calorie restriction almost inevitably results in better weight control, this approach is often difficult in and of itself. Exercise too is a highly significant factor in weight control, but often people find that due to lifestyle demands, they cannot be consistent enough in an exercise program to achieve weight goals. Among the other means of weight control, glucose control, thermogenesis, appetite suppression and increased diuresis can enhance your ability to reduce weight and keep it off. Yerba maté performs these functions, thereby improving the odds of achieving weight goals. Drinking yerba maté helps to stabilize blood sugar, suppress appetite, increase caloric burn rate, and increase urination, thereby reducing overall body water weight. Safe and effective, yerba maté may be just what you require to meet your weight goals.
Guidelines for use
A traditional plant with a long history of safe use, yerba maté is a modern diet aid when incorporated daily into the diet. My recommendation is to drink 2 – 4 cups of yerba maté daily. You can find it plain or in flavors like chai spice or mixed with mint. As for brands of yerba maté, I recommend Guayaki, Maté Factor and Pixie brands, all of which can be found in natural food stores. Do not expect miracle weight loss. If you eat sensibly and exercise on a regular basis, yerba maté will help you to gradually reduce excess weight. It takes time to become overweight, and it takes time to shed pounds as well.
Recipes for Longetivity
A while back, Dr Manny Alvarez and I did a segment on immunity-enhancing blender drinks, and more than a few FOX viewers and readers have asked for recipes. So here you go.
Acai super smoothie
In a blender, add one freezer pack of acai (like Sambazon brand), or 8 ounces of any acai juice
A handful of blueberries, fresh or frozen
One tablespoon of maca powder (like Navitas brand)
Blend until smooth and drink for energy and overall vitality enhancement
Yerba maté Immune Booster
In a teapot add two bags of yerba maté tea (Guayaki or Maté Factor or Pixie brands)
Finely shred one piece of fresh ginger the size of a thumb
The juice of one fresh lemon
Fill teapot with freshly boiled water and steep for minimum five minutes
Strain and drink with honey added to taste
In a blender, add 8 ounces of pomegranate juice
A handful of dried Goji berries (available in natural food stores)
4 or 5 fresh strawberries
A couple of large spoons of yogurt
Blend until smooth
The above recipes all have one thing in common. They provide concentrated nutrition, lots of potent antioxidant protection, and a delicious way to enhance your overall health. Enjoy!
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at www.MedicineHunter.com