Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yerba Mate - Not your average "Cup of Joe"

Many people wake up in the morning to their favorite cup of coffee to get them started for the day, but many people have trouble with this possibly unhealthy addiction. Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in a variety of plants, including the coffee plant and the tea bush. Caffeine is widely used in North America on a daily basis. But are all caffeine or “Xanthine” substances created equal?

In America, most people like to add things to their coffee that are not always beneficial. Cream, sugar, caramel, flavored syrups, and chocolate are the staples of the coffee industry. Coffee shops everywhere cater to the vast array of taste buds that enter their doors or drive by their windows every day. Regardless of their effects, coffee and other caffeinated drinks continue to be a permanent fixture in American culture.

But what if there was something else? What if the not so pleasant side effects of caffeine could be taken out of the equation and you were just left with the effects that most people use caffeine for in the first place? There is a not so new drink appearing on grocery shelves everywhere and can easily be found near your tea and coffee, that is a much healthier and a much more positive experience than the good ol’ “cup of Joe” that so many of us bathrobe clad, sleepy eyed, early risers desperately cling to.

Yerba Mate is a plant that is found in South America. The leaves have been used by the Ache Guayaki tribe for centuries for its energizing effects. Like its coffee cousin, it is also a stimulant more similar to the green tea plant than the coffee plant, but vastly superior. Yerba Mate is more accurately summed up by saying that it contains the strength of coffee with the health benefits of tea, plus the euphoria of chocolate. The leaves of the plant naturally contain many vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. And Yerba Mate now comes in a variety of forms and flavors. It can be found in health food stores and supermarkets as well as online. Besides keeping you awake during the day, Yerba Mate has also seen many additional health benefits. It is a much healthier alternative to your average “Cup of Joe” and I would encourage all coffee addicts to give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

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