Can A South American Tea Speed Weight Loss?  Lately one of my coworkers has been raving about how much weight she’s losing by drinking something called mate.  Truth is, it has done wonders for her figure, plus she’s got tons of energy.  I’d like to lose a few pounds myself.  Is this beverage worth a try?

Absolutely! This slightly bitter tea-like drink is made from the leaves of the South American yerba mate tree, and indigenous people of the region have long enjoyed its weight-control benefits.  Mate contains theobromine, a compound that sends an “all-full” signal to the brain’s hypothalamus (appetite center).  That’s why people who drink just one cup in the morning report no hunger pangs for more than half the day.  The herb also contains xanthines, compounds that raise the body temperature so more calories are burned while the body is at rest.  But mate does this without the caffeine-triggered jitters of other metabolism-revving drink like coffee and green tea.  More good news: The drink is now available in flavors like chocolate, chai and lemon.  A brand to try: Pixie Mate, at and health-food stores.

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