Be sure to stay informed about potential yerba mate side effects (as well as mate's many health and wellness benefits) so you can rest assured this herbal tea is a good and beneficial choice for you.
It can be so fascinating discovering the many different ways that teas (true teas and herbal teas, as well) can be so good for us - physically, mentally, emotionally, and even socially.
However, just as you carefully read labels at the grocery store, it's wise to learn about the teas that are part of your day - not only potential benefits, but possible side effects, risks, and even contraindications, too.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind about yerba mate (if you missed our first page about Yerba Mate Side Effects, you'll find it here).
If you've been reading up on the health benefits of yerba mate, no doubt you've come across various sources indicating that this herbal tea can increase the risk of certain types of cancer (such as throat, mouth, larynx, esophageal, bladder, and lung cancer).
While some studies suggest a link between drinking mate and cancer prevalence, further research indicates that yerba mate itself does not actually increase cancer risk - instead, other habits and lifestyle choices may be at the root of or contribute to any increased health concern.
For example, much of the research targeting yerba mate has been conducted in areas where yerba mate is regularly consumed in large quantities at exceedingly high temperatures, and the known risks associated with drinking extremely hot beverages can impact yerba mate research outcomes (learn more about the risks of drinking exceptionally hot tea here).
Other lifestyle factors and conditions that can significantly affect increased cancer risk (such as unhealthy diet, pre-existing health issues, regular tobacco use, and high alcohol consumption) can influence or confuse study results, as well.
At this point, no study has conclusively shown that yerba mate consumption itself causes an increased risk of cancer (in fact, studies are showing that yerba mate may actually help to protect us against cancer and other chronic diseases!).
More research is needed to uncover any interdependent relationships between yerba mate, other factors (tea temperatures and mate processing methods, as well as smoking, alcohol use, diet, and other lifestyle choices), and a higher risk of certain cancer types for yerba mate drinkers.
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are chemicals that, in larger amounts, can potentially cause cancer and many other serious short- and long-term health effects.
We are exposed to PAHs in our daily lives through various sources, such as motor vehicle exhaust, certain cosmetic and body-care products, tobacco smoke, and smoked, charcoal-broiled, or barbecued foods.
What do PAHs have to do with yerba mate? Most yerba mate is processed using a traditional smoke-drying method, in which yerba mate leaves and stemlets are dried over smoky burning wood. And, smoked yerba mate does contain high levels of PAHs.
While more research is needed, yerba mate studies have raised important questions about possible links between smoked yerba mate consumption, tobacco use, and a diet high in barbecued foods - all potential sources of PAHs - and an increased susceptibility to certain types of cancer.
PAHs can't be completely avoided - they're in the air, water, and soil around us, as well as in many foods, beverages, and other products in our everyday lives. But, we can take steps to reduce our exposure to PAHs - for example, by choosing air-dried or unsmoked mate, which has lower PAH levels than smoked mate (this may be a good option especially for those who drink lots of yerba mate, are regular tobacco users, and/or have high amounts of smoked or barbecued foods in their diets).
As with most things in life, using your good common sense when drinking yerba mate will help you enjoy the benefits and avoid possible risks! Don't gulp down exceptionally hot tea (let your tea cool for at least 3 or 4 minutes before drinking). Don't regularly consume excessive amounts of yerba mate. Choose organic air-dried or unsmoked mate to reduce exposure to PAHs. And, support your healthful decision to drink tea with other smart, beneficial lifestyle choices to nurture your body and mind and keep them strong and healthy!
There's more yet about yerba mate side effects... read more here, including information about yerba mate for moms and tots!
It can feel quite serious to learn about potential yerba mate side effects (and any possible risks associated with other teas and herbal tisanes), but part of ensuring that you support your good health is staying informed about what goes into your body. Staying up-to-date not only about the health benefits of the teas in your tea cupboard, but also about any potential concerns or issues connected with drinking these teas, means that you can rest assured that you're making good health choices for you and your household.
Tea health benefits matter - but remember to enjoy your tea, too! Choosing teas that taste delicious and nourishing to you and bring a smile to your face will mean that you'll be more likely to include these beneficial beverages as a regular part of your day!
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