A lot of people have been asking, “What’s that dark green stuff in your cup”?? “Is it green tea”? I respond with a peaceful smile, “Nope! It’s yerba mate!”.
Why mate? Well, I’ve been one of those people who has had a need for some level of caffeine in her life for many years. It all started when I was fifteen—I woke up one morning to the smell of an unusually delicious pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen, and from then on–my coffee addiction commenced. I became one of those fifteen year-olds who wasn’t sneaking cigarettes, but sneaking a cup of joe. I loved coffee, but my hyper-sensitive system did not. Over the years, I’ve gone from drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day, even working at a coffee shop at one point, to quitting cold turkey and only drinking green tea. I have accepted the fact that I enjoy the taste of coffee but will not make it an everyday habit, instead I treat myself to a quality cup of coffee once a week.
Too much caffeine can cause inflammation, which leads to anxiety headaches, acne, and unbalanced blood sugar levels. Not too mention coffee is highly acidic.
I choose yerba mate for my caffeine fix over coffee and green tea for several reasons. While I still drink green tea and believe green tea offers myriad health benefits, for me, yerba mate gets the job done. Yerba mate is touted as having the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and gives the “high” feeling one feels when she eats chocolate. When I drink mate, I feel energized without feeling jittery, and feel almost rejuvenated.
Yerba mate hails from the rainforests of South America and possesses 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and is rich in antioxidants.
Specifically Yerba Mate contains:
• 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.
• Theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine
I purchase Guayaki Mate, because the Guayaki business model directly links the purchase of mate to farming communites in the South American Atlantic Rainforests. Guayaki’s partners harvest the mate in a sustainable fashion, thus helping communities improve their lives, and restore their eco-systems.
For more information about Yerba Mate and to browse a slew of different mate products, check out http://guayaki.com/mate
Mate can be found at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, some other retailers also carry mate as well. If they don’t have it–give them a ring and request that they start carrying it! After all, the more we purchase mate, the more work we can do to improve the communities that grow mate. A huge part of being a vegetarian is being eco-conscious and human-conscious.
Drink up, and experience the rainforest!