Coffee is among the most preferred beverages in the world. It has been a favorite drink for many people around the globe for centuries. The coffee industry also has a significant impact on the economies of countries worldwide.
Coffee is a popular beverage due to its caffeine content. Caffeine is a substance in coffee that has the ability to boost your mood, energy, and performance due to its stimulating properties. It can also raise your alertness and increase your metabolism.
However, caffeine can also cause sleep problems, restlessness, and tiredness when taken in excessive amounts. In fact, it contributes to sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Although many people like drinking coffee due to the effects offered by its caffeine content, some people limit their daily intake for health or personal reasons, especially if they have trouble sleeping. If you’re among such coffee drinkers, switching to decaf coffee would be best. You’ll find it in various coffee shops listed as an alternative to regular coffee.
The History of Decaf Coffee
According to history, decaf coffee has been in existence since 1906. In that year, Ludwig Roselius, a representative of Kaffe Hag (a coffee company) discovered how to decaffeinate a coffee bean.
The decaffeination process involved soaking coffee beans in saltwater and later using a caffeine extraction process that required a variety of solvents. Since then, decaffeinated coffee has been a popular beverage alongside other products with low caffeine content, such as herbal tea and caffeine-free sodas.
Decaf coffee offers almost the same number of benefits as regular caffeinated coffee, but has a much lower caffeine content. In this article, you’ll learn more about decaf coffee, including where it comes from, its health benefits, health risks, and whether it’s better for you than regular coffee.
Where Does Decaffeinated Coffee Come From?
Decaf coffee is also known as decaffeinated coffee. It is popular in the coffee world as a substitute for regular coffee and is one of the healthiest coffee types in the world. Decaf coffee is made from beans whose caffeine content is removed by at least 97 percent via various processes before the roasting process.
There are several varieties of decaf coffee on the market. None of them is entirely caffeine-free. However, these coffees have a caffeine content that is almost insignificant, which makes them ideal for teens and adults who want to avoid caffeine. They are also excellent for people suffering from health conditions whose symptoms may worsen from taking caffeine.
The most popular decaffeination methods involve the use of carbon dioxide, activated charcoal filters, water, and organic solvents among other components.Once caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans, they are roasted to various roast levels and ground to different grind sizes as needed. The result is a variety of medium to dark roast decaf coffees that are ideal substitutes for regular coffee products.
Regardless of its lack of caffeine, decaf has a nutritional value that’s almost similar to regular coffee. However, it has a relatively milder smell and taste than regular coffee. Also, its color may be slightly different based on the decaffeination method used.
Therefore, decaf coffee products are ideal for individuals who dislike the smell and bitter taste of regular coffee. They are also excellent beverages for people who suffer from caffeine sensitivity.
Caffeine Content in Decaf Coffee
It’s worth noting that decaf coffee isn’t entirely caffeine-free. Most decaffeinated coffees contain approximately 3 milligrams per cup. Therefore, a 6-ounce cup of decaffeinated coffee may contain about 0 to 7 milligrams of caffeine. However, the exact amount depends on the cup size, coffee type, and the brewing method used.
Regular coffee contains around 70 to 140 milligrams of caffeine.The difference in caffeine content, which is a stimulating substance, is responsible for the popularity of regular coffee among consumers. However, health experts continue to recommend several decaf coffees over regular coffee for their health benefits.
Decaffeinated Coffee Health Information
So what is decaf coffee good for? Well, there are numerous health benefits of drinking Decaf. Here are a few:
1. Contains essential nutrients
Based on the recommended daily intake, a cup of decaf coffee contains 2.4 percent magnesium, 2.5 percent niacin (vitamin B3), and 4.8 percent potassium.
Although the percentage of these essential nutrients in a cup of decaf coffee may seem small, they can easily add up if you consume at least 3 cups of decaf coffee daily. These nutrients can improve your skin and digestion.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Generally, Decaf contains the same antioxidants you’d find in regular coffee, but the exact amount may be lower by about 15 percent in Decaf. The difference in antioxidant content between regular coffee and decaf coffee is due to the loss of some antioxidants during the decaffeination process.
The antioxidants found in Decaf are polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids. Hydrocinnamic acids are beneficial because they neutralize free radicals and prevent diseases related to oxidative stress such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Polyphenols reduce our chances of suffering from serious ailments such as type 2 diabetes and heart ailments.
3. Boosts liver function
Although the link between Decaf and liver function isn’t well studied, like in regular coffee, observational scientific evidence links it to lower levels of liver enzymes.
High liver enzyme levels indicate damage to the liver. Therefore, lowering the levels of liver enzymes protects it from conditions such as metabolic syndrome and hepatitis among other liver diseases.
4. Prevents neurodegenerative diseases
Besides regular coffee, decaf coffee can prevent mental ailments related to aging due to its memory-boosting capabilities. Thus, drinking it can reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Research links this health benefit to chlorogenic acid, which is found in both regular and Decaf coffee.
5. Reduced acid reflux
Regular coffee often causes acid reflux or heartburn. If you experience these issues after drinking coffee, switching to Decaf can eliminate these side effects. Also, research shows that drinking at least 2 cups of decaffeinated coffee every day can reduce the risk of getting rectal cancer by up to 48 percent.
Why Substitute Regular Coffee with Decaf?
Tolerance to caffeine varies from one person to another. For some individuals, a cup of joe can trigger terrible side effects such as heart palpitations, while for others, drinking several cups of coffee wouldn’t cause any problems. That’s because caffeine is a stimulant.
Excessive caffeine consumption can raise your blood pressure, which may increase the likelihood of developing health problems such as heart disease or a stroke. It is also linked to anxiety, jitters, insomnia, heart arrhythmia, abdominal cramping, and addiction, among other side effects.
According to FDA advice and this scientific study, consuming less than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to 4 standard cups of Java, will keep you from experiencing the side effects associated with taking caffeine.
Unfortunately, not everyone can limit their coffee intake as recommended. Therefore, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, suffer acidity or are afraid of the diuretic properties of coffee, especially on your skin, consider limiting your caffeine intake by taking decaf coffee.
Decaf coffee is a healthier alternative to regular coffee because it contains very small doses of caffeine. Your nutritionist may recommend it as part of the different ways you can maintain a healthy diet.
Also, if you’re suffering from a medical condition that requires a caffeine-restricted diet such as stomach ulcers or take prescription medications that interact with caffeine, consider switching to decaf coffee for health reasons.Doctors also advise people experiencing insomnia or anxiety to drink Decaf instead of coffee as a way of reducing stress.
Additionally, food nutritionists recommend breastfeeding and pregnant women reduce their caffeine intake by switching to decaf coffee or drinking herbal teas to avoid any side effects associated with high caffeine intake.
Decaf Coffee Health Concerns
Existing research concludes that Decaf doesn’t have any dangerous health effects. Nevertheless, some chemicals used during caffeine extraction linger in decaf coffee and they can cause some health concerns. Some good examples of such chemicals are Methylene chloride and Ethyl Acetate.
Ethyl Acetate is a solvent used in chemicals such as paint thinner and paint stripper. Prolonged exposure to it can damage your internal organs. Therefore, its use in caffeine extraction can cause health problems for decaf drinkers.
Methylene Chloride is a carcinogen that can harm the central nervous system when inhaled. It can also cause gastrointestinal distress when ingested. Therefore, taking decaf extracted using Methylene Chloride can affect your eye-coordination and attention. It could also cause irritability, drowsiness, headache, lightheadedness, wheezing, or coughing.
When looking for decaffeinated coffee, choose an organic and chemical -free decaf variety. A good example is coffee decaffeinated using the Swiss Water method. Studies prove it’s the best solution when it comes to avoiding the side effects associated with taking decaf coffee that contains substances like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate.
However, choosing decaf doesn’t mean you can take as much dairy or sugar as you want in it. The majority of these additives contribute to health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol levels in your blood.
Therefore, if taking decaf is a choice you are making to improve your nutrition, your doctor could recommend sticking to natural sweeteners and low-fat milk substitutes. You may also use tips such as putting cinnamon in your coffee to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol.
Generally, decaf coffee has a milder fragrance and taste than regular coffee due to its minimal caffeine content. It is slowly becoming a popular beverage, especially among millennials and health-conscious people whose major concern is eating foods and drinking beverages that are not bad for their health.
If you suffer from any health condition or are taking drugs that could interact with caffeine, such as Antibiotics, Estrogens, and Anti-depressants, take decaf. It is an excellent healthy beverage for anyone who doesn’t like the pungent smell and bitter taste of regular coffee.
Decaf is also an ideal beverage to have at the end of the day when you cannot afford to take anymore caffeinated drinks because you don’t want to lack sleep at night. And if your children are always asking for your coffee, a bit of decaf is a better choice. After all, other beverages and snacks they enjoy, such as chocolate, do contain trace amounts of caffeine.
Generally, decaf is a perfect drink for people sensitive to caffeine and those trying to reduce caffeine intake due to personal preference, addiction, or medical reasons. It is also loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, if you don’t want to forego coffee entirely, nutritionists and dietitians recommend decaf coffee as a perfect substitute.