So you want to drink less coffee. Maybe it's because you want better sleep or jitter and crash-free days, or you may even have heard that coffee can cause cancer. (Do not worry: this is highly unlikely.)
Whatever the reason? After all, we drink a lot of it. One study found that 64 percent of Americans drink a cup of coffee daily (the highest percentage ever), while another found that Americans spend an average of $ 1,100 a year on coffee.
But it's hard to break up. And for every counterpoint, there seems to be countless health benefits to enjoying the good. If only a caffeine-free, coffee-like substitute were present … oh, it does.
What is Decaf coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee ̵
Since the US Food and Drug Administration does not have strict regulations for Decaf, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are getting into each cup, not to mention that The quality of the beans and processing methods can influence the level of caffeine, which is why you can feel the same with one brand of coffee while another shoots you up through the roof.
What we do know is that the decaffeination process in the Typically, about 97 percent of caffeine is removed.This coffee has an average of 3 milligrams of caffeine per cup compared to the 85 milligrams of a normal cup of coffee A considerable amount if you are sensitive to caffeine.
How it's done
Decaf coffee is thought to have been discovered in the 1900s when a load of coffee beans was soaked in seawater during transportation, which naturally produced some caffeine. Shortly thereafter, the trader who passed the disaster traced these magic beans with a chemical solvent called benzene, a constituent that is a major component of gasoline and also occurs in volcanoes. (Talk about intense.)
The good news is that decaffeination of coffee beans has become much safer and is no longer carcinogenic (bye, benzene). The less good news: chemicals are not completely out of the picture.
The process of decaffeination begins with unroasted beans (the fact that the beans are green before frying) that are first soaked in water to dissolve the caffeine. Then it can follow three main methods.
- First of all, those annoying chemicals. To remove the caffeine from the water, methylene chloride used in paint removers (Yikes) or ethyl acetate used in adhesive and nail polish removers (Doppel-Yikes) is used to either add the caffeine to the coffee blend water (the & quot; direct & quot; "Process) or by removing the water from the beans and then adding it to the water mixture (the" indirect "process). The last step is the same one where the water is evaporated to keep the taste in the beans.
- Another method, the so-called Swiss water method, uses a carbon filter to remove the caffeine from the water, making it 100 percent chemically-free.
- The third method also keeps things free of chemicals by using the liquid carbon dioxide to dissolve the caffeine.
Although the latter methods may sound preferable, the amount of chemicals remaining at the end of the first decaffeination method is minimal and has been considered safe by the FDA. No matter what you prefer, since labels are not required to indicate the method used, it's hard to tell what you're getting – unless you choose organic, which is solvent-free.
So, is Decaf good for you?
Whether decaffeinated or normal, coffee is rich in antioxidants. And although Decaf may contain slightly lower levels of these antioxidants, decaffeinated coffee is not deprived of its benefits. Whether you're drinking caffeine-infused fire or a milder brew, coffee can help prevent cancer and even type 2 diabetes.
But that's not all. Decaf coffee has many beneficial properties, some of which are due to the lower caffeine content:
- Decaf coffee consumption in one study showed a reduced risk of developing rectal cancer.
- A study in rats (yes, we are waiting for evidence for humans) showed that rodents supplemented with coffee performed better in cognitive-related tasks than those without, suggesting that coffee is age-related mental deterioration regardless of the caffeine content.
- Both caffeinated and caffeinated coffee have been shown to protect neurons in the brain and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
- Decaf coffee can reduce mortality thanks to its positive effect on risk factors such as inflammation and depression.
But is it better for you?
Ordinary coffee certainly has a longer list of health benefits, but that does not necessarily mean that it's healthier. On the one hand, there is the argument that caffeine-containing coffee, because of the more detailed investigation, knows much more about it, hence all these benefits. But there is another important consideration: those who are not good with caffeine.
Many sippers suffer from symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn, and general stomach discomfort after a cup of coffee. (Not the most enjoyable way to start the day.) Because the decaffeination process can make coffee milder, Decaf can reduce these symptoms and make them a wiser choice.
Caffeine is also less than stellar side effects for others such as anxiety, insomnia, hypertension and fatigue (15 o'clock crash, we'll look at you). It's all too easy to forget that caffeine is a drug, and while it's not as addictive as some of the harder things, regular consumption can still result in cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine can also negatively affect certain medications. However, because of its low level of caffeine, Decaf is a much safer choice (but if you have a condition where consumption of caffeine is kept to a minimum, consult your doctor.)
When it comes to coffee, it depends on you and your body's response to caffeine. If you have no side effects, stay calm and drink coffee. Just limit your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day (3-4 cups, depending on your strength).
If you prefer something milder, both in taste and in experience, then choose Decaf. And if the intake of chemicals is not particularly appealing to you, look for the certified organic seal or ask your local coffee shop whether they have organic products or know how their beans are processed.
The good news is, no matter what you prefer, you can still enjoy that heavenly taste of coffee. And that's nothing nice.