There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee after a hectic day of work. It helps one to relax and ease out the tension and re-energize the body. Coffee has all these qualities because of the caffeine content in it which is known to be a natural stimulant that infuses energy in the body.
However in the past some time many debates have come up with the question of the effect of caffeine on the health of an individual. This had led to many alternatives to coffee. Decaf coffee was popular among them.
What is decaf coffee?
Decaf coffee is a short for decaffeinated coffee and similar in taste and appearance to regular coffee but contains very little caffeine. It is coffee made from coffee beans whose most of the caffeine quantity is removed before the process of roasting and grinding. This is usually done by soaking the beans in organic solvents like activated charcoal, supercritical carbon dioxide, methylene chloride, and ethyl acetate till they absorb the caffeine from the beans.
How much caffeine does decaf coffee contain?
Despite its name decaf coffee does still contain some caffeine. It contains significantly less caffeine than regular coffee. According to the FDA and 8-ounce cup of regular coffee contains 8o-100 mg of caffeine. As per the findings, an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee contains 2 mg of caffeine.
Is decaf coffee bad or good for health?
Presently decaffeinated coffee has gotten a lot safer and is no longer carcinogenic. However, chemicals in this decaf coffee are still not completely out of the picture.
As per the study conducted, decaf coffee does not appear to have any harmful health effects. However, the use of methylene chloride in the decaffeinating process has raised some concerns. Inhaling even a small amount of methylene chloride can temporarily slow down the central nervous system and affect a person‘s attention and hand-eye coordination. It should also lead to symptoms such as headache drowsiness irritability and cough.
Health benefits of decaf coffee
Many scientist research researches suggest that coffee contain several compounded that are beneficial to human health. Decaf coffee usually contains a similar amount of antioxidants as regular coffee, although they may be up to 15% lower. The difference is mostly caused by the loss of antioxidants during the decaffeinating process.
The main antioxidant in regular and decaf coffees are hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenols. Antioxidants are very effective at neutralizing reactive compounds called free radicals which reduces oxidative damage and may help prevent diseases like heart disease, cancer, and type two diabetes.
In addition to antioxidants decaf also contains a small amount of some nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B. It lowers mortality by lowering risk factors like inflammation and depression. Also, decreases the risk of rectal cancer.
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B.Tech Student at NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship and Management)