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10 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea (Better Than Coffee) | Be Brain Fit

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10 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea (Better Than Coffee)
By Deane Alban

The health benefits of yerba mate go beyond mental stimulation and energy boosting. With a powerful nutrient profile, yerba mate is more than just caffeine.

yerba mate tea

What you’ll learn about yerba mate in this article:

What makes yerba mate a popular substitute for coffee
The 1o top health benefits of yerba mate
How to prepare yerba mate tea
A look at bottled and canned yerba mate drinks
Potential yerba mate side effects
Billions of people start the day with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

But in some parts of the world, people wake up with a drink you may not be familiar with — yerba mate.

Yerba mate is a traditional South American brew that’s been said to offer the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one beverage.

It was called “the drink of the gods” by many indigenous South Americans and later “the green gold of the Indios” by European settlers.

First, let’s take a look at the many evidence-based benefits of yerba mate.

Then we’ll explore how to prepare and drink yerba mate tea for maximum health and enjoyment, and the fewest side effects.

What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a traditional drink made from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, a native plant of South America.

This plant is found in the wild but is also cultivated on plantations similarly to familiar kinds of tea.

In countries where yerba mate is widely consumed, it assumes the cultural importance exemplified by coffee cafés and Japanese tea ceremonies.

Drinking yerba mate tea is often a social event.

Sharing this drink from a traditional gourd is a sign of friendship and bonding.

Mate drinking has its own vocabulary, not unlike ordering a coffee at Starbucks!

It’s wildly popular in Uruguay, where it’s not unusual to see people walking down the street sipping mate while carrying a thermos of hot water to refresh their drink.

It’s officially the national drink of Argentina where 500 million dollars worth of it is consumed every year. (1, 2)

Pope Francis drinking yerba mateAccording to one survey, it’s consumed in 92% of all Argentinian households.

Pope Francis, the first pope from Argentina, has been photographed sharing mate with his followers.

If you haven’t tried it, the best way to describe the taste is grassy and similar to green tea.

If you weren’t raised on it, you might find it an acquired taste.

But even if you don’t love it, you may want to drink it anyway.

Yerba mate consumption is increasing in many parts of the world, but not because of the way it tastes.

It’s gaining in popularity because of the way it improves how people feel.

Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
The obvious and immediate benefits of yerba mate are increased energy and enhanced mental clarity, alertness, focus, and concentration.

Some of the health benefits that follow are less widely known, at least to those of us not living in a mate-drinking part of the world.

  1. Yerba mate provides a smooth increase in energy.
    Yerba mate is well known for providing an energy boost that’s been described as gentle, clean, and calm.

Compared to the other most commonly used stimulants in the world — coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa, and guarana — yerba mate reportedly delivers the most balanced energy boost.

Yerba mate drinkers experience a state of alert wakefulness similar to that of coffee, but without coffee’s side effects.

It rarely interferes with sleep and doesn’t cause caffeine jitters.

Athletes use it to enhance physical performance. (3)

✓ Yerba Mate Tea
See Amazon.com for best selection and value

Related article —
Why Natural Energy Drinks Are Better for Your Brain

It’s useful for people suffering from mental or physical fatigue, or from chronic fatigue syndrome. (4)

You may have come across the claim that yerba mate contains no caffeine, but this is not true.

It contains 85 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup, which is more than tea but less than coffee. (5)

You may hear that yerba mate contains mateine instead of caffeine.

While the caffeine-like effect of yerba mate may feel different than that of coffee, a unique compound has not yet been discovered.

One theory is that mateine is probably just caffeine bound to a tannin or phenol in the raw leaf.

At least for now, mateine is simply another name for caffeine. (6)

  1. Yerba mate boosts mental functions of all kinds.
    Everyone wants to be as smart, productive, focused, and creative as possible and yerba mate may just help you do that.

Yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. (7)

The brain enhancing benefits of caffeine are commonly known.

It enhances memory, mood, and alertness. (8)

It makes you more motivated and productive by stimulating production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. (9)

But besides caffeine, yerba mate contains two related compounds, theobromine and theophylline.

✓ Matcha Green Tea
See Amazon.com for best selection and value

Related article —
Powerful Brain and Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

These three alkaloids work together to provide unique, mild stimulant effects, as they also do in green tea. (10)

Yerba mate has found a niche following among brain hackers seeking to optimize mental performance with anything that gives them an edge.

Bestselling author Tim Ferriss is among the most famous biohackers.

He admits he’s experimented extensively with brain enhancing substances of all kinds, including smart drugs.

And, in the end, his all-time favorite brain enhancing substance is yerba mate.

He prefers it over coffee since he experiences no crash and finds it non-addictive.

And unlike smart drugs, it has no “payback time.”

He makes a special brew of yerba mate with ginger and turmeric that he calls “titanium tea.”

On his blog The Tim Ferriss Show, he reveals that yerba mate is part of his personal recipe for creativity on demand and that his favorite brand by far is Cruz De Malta Yerba Mate.

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  1. Yerba mate is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
    Yerba mate is so loaded with nutrition that it contains practically all the micronutrients needed to sustain life. (11)

Each serving of mate contains the following vitamins and high concentration of these minerals: (12, 13)

vitamin A
vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5
vitamin C
vitamin E
It also contains other beneficial phytonutrients such as tannins, trace minerals, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and 15 amino acids.

Yerba mate contains 11 polyphenols and exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink. (14)

  1. Yerba mate has a long history of traditional medicinal uses.
    illustration of yerba mate plant
    Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Dr. Leslie Taylor is an herbalist and naturopath who has dedicated her life to exploring the healing properties of native, medicinal plants of the Amazon rain forest.

In her book The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, she lists dozens of uses for yerba mate including:

as a stimulant
as an overall tonic and digestive aid
as part of a weight loss regime
as a general nerve tonic for pain, fatigue, and depression
for allergies and sinusitis
You can learn more about traditional yerba mate benefits and uses in her tropical plant database.

There you’ll find close to 100 scientific references to studies that support the health claims of traditional yerba mate.

  1. Yerba mate can boost the immune system.
    Yerba mate is high in compounds called saponins.

Saponins are natural emulsifiers that boost the immune system and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (15)

✓ Green Tea
See Amazon.com for best selection and value

Related article —
EGCG and L-Theanine: Unique Brain Boosters in Green Tea

Yerba mate also contains potent antioxidants known as polyphenols. (16)

These plant-based compounds modulate the overactive immune response which contributes to seasonal allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. (17)

  1. Yerba mate tea can help you lose weight.
    Yerba mate got a big boost in awareness as a weight loss aid after Dr. Oz included it in a segment on his TV show about teas that can help you lose weight.

But can it really help you lose weight?

There’s some evidence that yerba mate can aid weight loss by reducing appetite, increasing energy expenditure, improving insulin sensitivity, and burning stored fat. (18, 19, 20)

  1. Yerba mate has a long history as a digestive and elimination tonic.
    One traditional yerba mate benefit is for treating constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.

It’s naturally antibacterial against E. coli, one of the most common causes of food poisoning. (21)

At least one saponin found in yerba mate destroys intestinal parasites. (22)

It’s also useful for both preventing and treating urinary tract infections and bladder and kidney stones. (23)

Related article —
All About Caffeine Addiction and Withdrawal & How to Quit

  1. Yerba mate can build strong bones, even without exercise.
    Drinking yerba mate tea increases bone density, even in people who don’t exercise.

This was a somewhat surprising discovery since caffeine is associated with bone mineral loss and exercise is deemed critical for building strong bones.

This study found that post menopausal women, a group particularly at risk for osteoporosis, who regularly drank mate had almost 10% greater bone density in their spines than women who didn’t drink it. (24)

Neither group of women exercised.

  1. Yerba mate helps keep your heart healthy.
    Yerba mate is useful for heart-related conditions including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure. (25)

Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties protect the heart and cardiovascular system. (26)

The theobromine in mate relaxes blood vessels allowing for better blood flow.

  1. Yerba mate extract kills cancer cells.
    We’ve saved this benefit for last since it’s the most controversial.

Yerba mate contains several known anti-cancer compounds such as saponins, ursolic acid, rutin, tannin, chlorogenic acid, and chlorophyll. (27)

When yerba mate extract is added to human colon cancer cells in a test tube, the cancer cells self-destruct. (28)

Conversely, there’s some concern that yerba mate may cause some kinds of cancer, mainly esophagus, lungs, mouth, pharynx, and larynx. (29)

However, there’s evidence that the real cause is that mate is traditionally consumed scalding hot.

Frequent exposure to extremely hot liquids is known to cause these kinds of cancers. (30)

Another theory is that mate drinkers in certain areas of South America often smoke tobacco and drink alcohol in excess which may be contributing factors. (31)

Related article —
Cognitive Enhancers Compared: Brain Supplements, Smart Drugs & Nootropics

How to Prepare Yerba Mate Tea
There are many ways to prepare yerba mate that range from super simple to a little more involved.

To start, you might want to prepare it in a way that requires no special equipment.

The easiest way is to brew it like tea using yerba mate tea bags.

yerba mate gourdThere’s no need to feel guilty that you’re taking a modern shortcut.

Kids in mate-drinking countries are introduced to it this way since mate made with tea bags is less potent.

You can also make it from loose mate leaves just like you would any loose tea using a strainer or infuser.

If you’ve got a French press, you can make yerba mate in it just as you would coffee.

✓ Yerba Mate Tea
See Amazon.com for best selection and value

When you are ready for a more authentic experience, you can upgrade to drinking yerba mate from a gourd (calabash) with a silver straw (bombilla).

If you’d like a visual demonstration, there are many videos online that show how to brew yerba mate in various ways.

Here’s a short video that shows how it’s traditionally brewed.

A Word About Yerba Mate Drinks in Bottles and Cans
Unlike coffee or tea, yerba mate is not readily available in most parts of the world.

So if you’re a fan, you may be tempted to try a canned or bottled yerba mate drink.

Here’s a quick look at what’s right — and wrong — about these drinks.

Yerba mate purists would shudder at popping open a bottle or can and taking a swig of a sugar-laden, fruity “mate drink.”

But if you are trying for a healthy upgrade from soda or typical energy drinks, these drinks could be a step in the right direction.

If you are concerned about sugar or caffeine, read all labels carefully.

The amount of both in these drinks varies greatly.

The most popular brand of prepared yerba mate drinks in the United States is Guayaki.

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in some of their drinks.

Guayaki Energy Shot contains 140 mg of caffeine per 2-ounce shot.

This is less than the 200 mg in a 2-ounce Regular Strength 5-hour Energy shot.

Guayaki’s bottled teas contain 140 mg of caffeine per 16-ounce bottle compared to 80 mg in an 8-ounce can of Red Bull.

The exception is the peach flavor (Peach Terere) which contains only 80 mg.

Both the lemon mint and hibiscus lime bottled teas are unsweetened, while Guayaki canned drinks (a can is 15.5 ounces) contain about 28 grams of sugar per can.

If you want the convenience of yerba mate ready-made drinks but don’t want sugar or flavorings, another option is to add yerba mate liquid extract or powder to hot water to make instant yerba mate when you are on the go.

Yerba Mate Side Effects
Just because people in South America drink mate all day long doesn’t mean you should!

Some people may experience the typical symptoms of excess caffeine — anxiety, nervousness, heart palpitations, and insomnia.

And since it’s great at keeping you regular, too much can have a laxative effect.

Due to its caffeine content, yerba mate is not recommended if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have anxiety issues. (32)

And keep in mind that if you smoke or drink alcohol heavily, these combined with mate might increase your risk for certain cancers.

One comprehensive study conducted in Argentina found an increased risk of bladder cancer in yerba mate drinkers, but only in those who also smoked. (33)

Related article —
15 Links Between Caffeine and Anxiety

There are several medications that should not be mixed with yerba mate.

These include drugs used to treat heart disease, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, or any drugs that work by stimulating the nervous system. (34)

In almost every case, the problem is not unique to yerba mate but is due to ingesting moderate amounts of caffeine.

It’s not just a matter of overstimulation — in some cases caffeine can alter a drug’s effectiveness.

If you regularly consume other caffeinated drinks with no problem, you should have no problem with yerba mate.

But if you have any doubt, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

In the meantime, you can check RxList.com to see if your prescription is on a list of drugs contraindicated with yerba mate.

Yerba Mate Benefits: The Bottom Line
Yerba mate is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet.

It provides an energy and productivity boost similar to coffee, but with less caffeine and more nutrients.

It is generally less stimulating than coffee and rarely causes caffeine jitters or insomnia.

It offers a multitude of health benefits from improved cognition to stronger bones.

If you are looking for a healthy replacement for caffeine-laden energy drinks or soda or just want a change of pace from coffee, yerba mate is an excellent alternative.


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Stephen Hawking, Astrophysicist With Paralyzing Disease, Dies At 76


Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking Has Died At 76

Stephen Hawking, Astrophysicist With Paralyzing Disease, Dies At 76
Hawking unraveled the mysteries of the Big Bang and black holes despite a paralyzing nerve disease, while writing books that made him a celebrity.

Posted on March 13, 2018, at 8:50 p.m.
Dan Vergano
Dan Vergano
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Stephen Hawking in 2001.
STR / AFP / Getty Images / Via gettyimages.com

Stephen Hawking in 2001.
Stephen Hawking, who surmounted a paralyzing illness to master both cosmology and celebrity, died Wednesday at his home in Cambridge at age 76.

Hawking was arguably the world’s most famous scientist, owing his scientific acclaim to theoretical work released in the early 1970s that explained how black holes end and how the universe began. His fame went mainstream in 1988 when he published A Brief History of Time, a best-seller that made a star of a wheelchair-bound, robot-voiced physicist who explored the greatest of cosmic mysteries.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” Hawking’s three children said in a statement. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.

“He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love,'” the statement concluded. “We will will miss him forever.”

Despite his use of a wheelchair owing to a motor neuron disease developed in the early 1960s, Hawking famously ascended in 1977 to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., a position once held by Isaac Newton.

“My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way,” Hawking wrote in a 1984 essay, saying that illness gave him the time to think through physics problems, rather than lecture or perform administrative duties.

Together with physicist Roger Penrose, Hawking’s work cemented the case for a fiery Big Bang starting the universe. Hawking also showed that black holes, collapsed stars so dense that even light can’t escape their gravitational attraction, aren’t really black. Energy actually radiates away from black holes (this is called “Hawking radiation” today) in tiny amounts explained by the equations of quantum mechanics, the rules governing the behavior of subatomic particles.

In this way, Hawking opened a door for physicists seeking to unite the laws governing gravity with those explaining atomic forces — the still uncompleted goal of 21st-century physics.

“He thinks about the universe differently, due to his physical disability,” Kip Thorne, a physicist at Caltech, said of Hawking in 2013. “That enabled him to make discoveries that no one else could make. And he has. They have shaken the foundations of physics.”

Over the decades since the publication of Brief History and his many subsequent books, Hawking’s fame only increased, earning him appearances on TV shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons. In 2015, actor Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking in The Theory of Everything, which explored the collapse of his marriage to his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking, in revealing fashion.

Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Hawking in February 2015.
Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images
Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Hawking in February 2015.

“Stephen has done more to promote the public understanding of cosmology than any other living individual,” Sir Lester Borysiewicz, a physicist at the University of Cambridge, said at Hawking’s 70th birthday celebration in 2012.

That promotion came not only from Hollywood, but in lectures and talks Hawking delivered in the familiar voice of the computer synthesizer that allowed him to speak. Hawking was known for a puckish sense of humor in his talks, revealing at the 70th birthday party that he found the biggest puzzle in the universe to be “women,” adding that “they are a complete mystery.”

He also made public bets against other cosmologists, conceding one to Caltech physicist John Preskill in 2004. In the bet, Hawking had argued that black holes irrevocably erased all information about the particles they consumed from the universe, something forbidden by the rules of quantum physics. He later called this his greatest mistake, sending Preskill, a baseball stats buff, an encyclopedia about baseball as his concession. (Later, Hawking said, “I gave John an encyclopedia about baseball, but maybe I should have just given him the ashes,” to let him try to extract information from the burnt text.)

John Oliver interviews Stephen Hawking in 2014.
View this video on YouTube
John Oliver interviews Stephen Hawking in 2014.
“His image, of a brilliant mind in a broken body, resonated with the public,” Declan Fahy, a science celebrity scholar at American University in Washington, D.C., told BuzzFeed News. “He understood celebrity, knew it needed emblematic figures, and could make it work because there was nobody quite like Stephen Hawking.”

Hawking’s second marriage, to his nurse, Elaine Mason, ended in divorce (amid tabloid headlines) in 2006. He is survived by three children from his first marriage, Robert, Timothy, and Lucy.

Stephen Hawking takes the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.
View this video on YouTube
Stephen Hawking takes the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.
Dan Vergano is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Dan Vergano at dan.vergano@buzzfeed.com.
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History of yerba mate – Wikipedia


History of yerba mate

Falkland gauchos having mate. Watercolour by Dale, manager of Hope Place – Saladero in the 1850s.

Silver mate gourd from the 18th century
The history of yerba mate, that stretches back to pre-Columbian Paraguay, is marked by a rapid expansion in harvest and consumption in the Spanish South American colonies but also by its difficult domestication process, which even if discovered in the mid 17th century had to be rediscovered later when production was industrialized around 1900.

The consumption of yerba mate became widespread in the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century both among Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaraní people, who had to some extent consumed it before the Spanish arrival. Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the Platine region and from there to Chile and Peru. This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares like tobacco, and Indian labour was used to harvest wild stands. In the mid 17th century Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands. After the expulsion of the Jesuits in the 1770s their plantations fell into decay as did their domestication secrets. The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the Paraguayan War (1864–1870) which devastated the country both economically and demographically. Brazil became then the prime producer of yerba mate. In Brazilian and Argentine projects in late 19th and early 20th century the plant was domesticated once again opening the way for modern plantation systems. When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention into coffee in the 1930s Argentina, that had long been the prime consumer, took over as the largest producer, resurrecting Misiones Province where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations.

Early use
Spread across South America (1600–1650)
Jesuit era and domestication (1650–1767)
Expansion (1767–1870)
Industrialization and spread to the Levant (1870–1950)
Last edited 3 months ago by Lotje
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.

Gospel of the Day (John 5:1-16)

Gospel of the Day (John 5:1-16)

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep (Gate) a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'”
They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.

De pe la Monica Luisa Macovei: Nicio lege „anti-defăimare” inventată de Dragnea nu va putea șterge un adevăr: este un condamnat definitiv pentru fraudă electorală și un inculpat.

Nicio lege „anti-defăimare” inventată de Dragnea nu va putea șterge un adevăr: este un condamnat definitiv pentru fraudă electorală și un inculpat. Adevărul este că PSD&ALDE, Dragnea&Tăriceanu vor să scape de dosare penale, să nu fie anchetați și eventual condamnați. Chiar ei sunt cei care „defăimează” țara, care fură țara, care mint la Bruxelles și ne trădează pe toți.

Mă bucur dacă îi produc insomnii lui Liviu Dragnea, adevărul mereu produce insomnii politicienilor cu probleme penale. Voi continua să spun adevărul: “statul paralel” este grupul de crimă organizată PSD&ALDE condus chiar de Dragnea și Tăriceanu, aceasta este “caracatița care a sugrumat România”.

Legea „anti-defăimare” inventată de Dragnea nu va fi doar împotriva mea, ci a tuturor celor care nu aplaudă și nu se înclină în fața infractorilor din politică, așa cum a fost ovaționat Dragnea la ultimul Congres al partidului.

Politicieni din PSD&ALDE au spus deja că protestatarii au făcut rău României. O minciună imensă, dar utilă pentru ca partidul-stat să-și justifice legea anti-defăimare. Magistrații care au semnat memoriul împotriva legilor justiției și au protestat față de modificarea Codurilor penale vor fi sancționați și ei de legea anti-defăimare? Șefa DNA, despre care ministrul-doctor în drept a spus că a afectat imaginea României, este numai bună de cercetat pe baza legii inventate de Dragnea?

Toți cei care atrag atenția că un grup de crimă organizată vrea să scufunde România doar pentru a nu intra la închisoare sunt cei care își apără țara, nu o defăimează.

Sursa foto: site B1 TV

Trump fires Rex Tillerson as secretary of state


Trump fires Rex Tillerson as secretary of state
US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.

Thanking Mr Tillerson for his service, Mr Trump tweeted that his new top diplomat would do “a fantastic job”.

Mr Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.

The president also nominated Gina Haspel to become the first female director of the CIA.

Reaction to sacking
What did Trump say?
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal “chemistry”.

“We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things,” said the president.

“When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was OK.

“I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same.

“With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.

“Rex is a very good man, I like Rex a lot.”

Mr Tillerson is the latest in a long list of senior officials who have either resigned or been fired since Mr Trump took office.

The White House revolving door: Who’s gone?

What did Tillerson say?
The Department of State said Mr Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was “unaware of the reason” for his firing.

Under Secretary Steve Goldstein said: “The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security.”

According to the Associated Press, White House chief of staff John Kelly called Mr Tillerson on Friday and advised him to watch out for a presidential tweet about him.

Mr Kelly did not tell Mr Tillerson when the tweet would be posted or what it might say, reports the news agency.

The secretary of state was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was caught unawares by Mr Trump’s agreement to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The top US diplomat’s team said he was feeling unwell on Saturday and later in the weekend the state department said he would cut short his tour by a day.

“I felt like, look, I just need to get back,” Mr Tillerson told reporters on his plane home, reports the Washington Post.

The 65-year-old arrived back in Washington before dawn on Tuesday to learn he was out of a job a few hours later.

Rex Tillerson – Trump’s former top diplomat
Working relationship quickly soured
Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Rex Tillerson, who as a long-time corporate executive was an unconventional pick for secretary of state, seemed like he was on thin ice from very early on in his administration tenure.

He was distrusted by veteran State Department employees, who viewed him as an outside interloper with little affinity for the organisation he headed. The president, initially enamoured with the brash Texan, quickly appeared to sour on his pick, as he frequently broke with the White House line on foreign policy.

Reportedly calling the president a moron (intensified by a choice expletive) certainly didn’t help, either.

Mr Tillerson did manage to hang around through those earlier controversies, outliving his earlier expectations that he would be gone by year’s end. Instead he made it to March, but it was clear that this was a move some time in the making, given that Mr Trump already had successor Mike Pompeo lined up to take over the reins.

Just last week Mr Trump tweeted that he had a few more staff changes he wanted to make. Now it’s clear he had one move in particular in mind.

Who are the nominees?
A US Senate report found that Ms Haspel ran a notorious CIA prison in Thailand, where prisoners were waterboarded in 2002.

The CIA deputy director was also accused of destroying dozens of videotapes of interrogations at the camp.

Gina Haspel – first female CIA director nominee
Mr Pompeo is a former hardline conservative Republican lawmaker from Kansas and a Trump loyalist.

In 2014, he defended the CIA officers who waterboarded detainees as “patriots”.

Mike Pompeo – Trump’s loyalist new diplomat
Both the new secretary of state and CIA director will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Why was Tillerson fired?
Reports had swirled since last year of a schism in the Trump administration between the commander-in-chief and his top diplomat.

Last October Mr Tillerson was forced to convene a news conference to deny claims he planned to quit, though he did not address a report that he had referred to his boss as a moron after a Pentagon meeting.

Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea.

In December, the secretary of state departed from administration talking points when he offered to begin direct talks with Pyongyang without preconditions.

The White House – which insisted North Korea must first accept any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal – distanced itself from his remarks.

Mr Tillerson was reported to be astonished at how little Mr Trump grasped the basics of foreign policy.

The Republican president, meanwhile, was irritated by Mr Tillerson’s body language during meetings, the New York Times reported.

The secretary of state was said to roll his eyes or slouch when he disagreed with Mr Trump’s decisions.

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