Yerba Mate, often referred to simply as “mate”, is made from the leaves of a tree native to South America. Yerba mate is generally known for its stimulating effects (without the jitteriness coffee can bring), but it has other greater health benefits as well! Yerba mate is rich in polyphenols, meaning that it is a good source of antioxidants, which fight inflammation within the body. It’s also been shown to promote heart health and good digestion.
There are few foods that have been shown to both reduce LDL cholesterol while also increasing HDL cholesterol, but when consumed on a regular basis, yerba mate appears to be one of them.
While heart health is a bit more complicated than wanting to lower LDL and raise HDL levels, this general effect is associated with a protective effect against heart disease.