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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Personal Perspective – Kick the coffee, try yerba mate

During such a defining and exhaustive time like college, many students unknowingly abuse their bodies by consuming an excessive amount of energy drinks, coffee, and other stimulants.

To offset the laborious task of juggling the many affairs of our busy student lives, it is easy to become overly dependent on energizing but unhealthy stimulants.

However, while the initial boost of these substances is pleasurable, the aftereffects can be less than pleasing.

Nonetheless, we all have our vices. That’s why it is so important to keep our bodies well by developing what I have come to call “healthy addictions.”

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My latest addiction is a brewed, tea-like beverage known as yerba mate, often simply called mate.

I was first introduced to mate recently when a friend of mine returned from a music festival with a complimentary bag of loose-leaf mate.

Aware of only some of the alleged health benefits, I began substituting the water in my diet with richly brewed yerba mate.

Any time that I became thirsty, I would brew myself a pot of mate.

That was over thirty days ago.

Since that time, I have not declined a glass of mate for any reason.

In the time elapsed since my first cup of mate, I have already bid farewell my addiction to nicotine and replaced it with a “healthy addiction” to mateine, the chemical found in yerba mate.

The more that I learn about yerba mate, the more excited I become about having a glass with breakfast every morning.

The mate tree is best characterized as an evergreen of the holly family. The leaves, when consumed regularly as a tea, offer a very sustainable feeling of general alertness, clarity, and well-being.

Yerba mate is the national drink of Uragauy, Paraguay and Argentina, where it has been traditionally revered for its significance to the native people. It was not surprising to learn that legends exist which seek to explain the origin of the mysteriously beneficent plant.

An abundance of minerals, antioxidants, and essential nutrients found in mate are nearly enough to sustain life, making yerba mate the perfect choice for a student on a tight budget.

Furthermore, as a moderate appetite suppressant, mate may be just the thing for the first-year student looking to steer clear of that dreaded “freshman 15” or the conscious individual seeking to promote healthy digestion and sustained physical energy.

Mate may be served hot or cold and can be enjoyed with sweetener, honey or soy milk.

Your local health-food store should carry yerba mate in either loose-leaf or bagged form.

However, I strongly recommend the loose-leaf variety for its potency.

Today, I am feeling more vital than ever before and have a truly apparent change in lifestyle.

Mate is the healthiest tea in the world!

If you are thinking of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle, or just considering life in terms of the long run, I cannot overemphasize the value of making yerba mate a part of your daily ritual.

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