Coffee is a staple drink of many. Its scintillating aroma and intense flavor are what you need to kick your mood. Although it is excellent for health, the high caffeine content in it is a discouraging factor. If you wish to enjoy the benefits of coffee sans caffeine, then try out decaf coffee. Here, have a look at the benefits of decaf coffee and know why it is a healthy beverage for you.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee or decaffeinated coffee is coffee made from coffee beans whose about 97% of caffeine content has been removed.
Decaf Coffee Nutrition Facts
The vast array of benefits of decaf coffee are due to its fantastic nutrient composition. Decaffeinated coffee is rich in antioxidants. Besides, it also contains some amounts of essential nutrients like Vitamin B3, niacin, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and calcium(1).
Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee
Similar to caffeinated coffee, the benefits of decaf coffee are also vast. Below mentioned are some of its significant benefits that you must know.
1. A healthy Heart is one of the prime benefits of decaf coffee
Decaf coffee is known to boost your cardiovascular health. It is because it improves the endothelial function that regulates blood flow vasoconstriction and vasodilation, i.e., it ensures an adequate amount of oxygen and nutrient supply throughout the body via blood. Thus, relieving the heart of any stress and preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Decaf coffee helps in lowering the blood sugar level
The benefits of decaf coffee include reduced risk to diabetes. It is because some of its components like chlorogenic acid and lignans boost glucose metabolism, thus regulating the amount of glucose present in the body.
Further, these also play a crucial role in lessening the oxidative stress in the body by killing the free radicals which result in diabetes. Magnesium present in decaf coffee is also known to decrease the risk of diabetes.
3. Benefits of Decaf coffee include improved Brain Functioning
Decaf coffee is known to protect the neurons. Thus, the consumption of it can prevent mental decline with age and the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
4. Decaf coffee protects the liver and boosts its functioning
Consumption of organic decaf coffee is good for the health of your liver too. Studies have found that the oils present in the coffee like kahweol and cafestol exhibit protective effects against aflatoxin, a toxin that harms the liver.
These oils promote the production of glutathione, an antioxidant which is known to boost the liver function and stimulate detoxification of the body. Thus, the benefits of coffee include a healthy liver.
How is Decaf Coffee made?
There are four methods of decaffeinating coffee:
- Indirect-Solvent Method: In it, green coffee beans are soaked in near boiling water for several hours to dissolve the caffeine. After that, the seeds are washed for about ten hours in ethyl acetate or methylene chloride. Then, the beans are again soaked in water.
- Direct-Solvent Method: In this method, the coffee beans are steamed for about 30 minutes. Then they are washed with ethyl acetate or methylene chloride for about ten hours, after which again steam is passed through them.
- The Swiss Water Process: In this process, coffee beans are soaked in boiling water and next they are passed through an activated charcoal filter. The process separates flavorless coffee beans from the flavored water.
This flavored water is used to dissolve the next batch of green coffee beans. As it is already saturated with flavor ingredients, it removes only caffeine from the new batch of coffee beans. Hence, you get decaffeinated beans without much loss of flavor.
- Carbon dioxide method: The green coffee beans soaked in water are placed in a stainless steel container called extraction vessel. The vessel is then sealed, and liquid Carbon dioxide is forced in it at a pressure of 1000 pounds per square inch.
It dissolves the caffeine from the beans. After that, the liquid carbon dioxide is transferred to the absorption chamber, where the pressure is released, and it changes into its gaseous state leaving behind caffeine. This clean carbon dioxide is again used to extract caffeine.
How to make decaf coffee at home?
Here is how you can enjoy a cup of decaf coffee.
- Boil fresh, filtered water
- While the water is boiling, grind the decaf coffee beans
- After the water boils, let it cool for a minute and then add ground coffee
- Let it steep for about five minutes
- Pour it into your mug and enjoy.
Side-effects of Decaf Coffee
Decaf coffee is excellent for those who wish to curb their caffeine intake. However, it also poses some health hazards. Some of the side-effects of it are:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Increased vulnerability to rheumatoid arthritis
- Increase in Gastrin (a hormone) levels in the body
- Increased risk to stomach ulcers
- Increased risk to osteoporosis
Decaf coffee is flavorsome, aromatic and nutrient-rich like the regular coffee. The only difference between them is that it is not high on caffeine like your favorite coffee. Though it may lose some nutrients during the caffeine extraction process, it is still quite potent and good for your health. The benefits of decaf coffee are vast; hence, you can switch to it instead of drinking caffeinated coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is decaf coffee 100% caffeine free?
No, decaf coffee is not entirely caffeine free. However, the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is generally minimal.
2. What quantity of decaf coffee in a day is safe for a pregnant woman?
One should limit the consumption of decaf coffee during pregnancy to one to two cups.
3. What is the best method for extraction of caffeine from coffee beans?
The best process for extracting caffeine from the coffee beans is the carbon dioxide method as it involves no chemicals and removes most of the caffeine content.