Lifestyle & Parenting

Decaf Delights

May 19, 2017

Nearly everyone likes to wake up in the morning to a hot cup of something—and for a lot of people, nothing hits the spot like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. You’ve undoubtedly heard of decaf coffee but, aside from the fact that it’s "decaffeinated," are you aware of exactly how it is different from regular coffee and what effect this can have on your health? —Jenny Holt


coffee: the facts. The good news is, coffee is generally accepted to be quite good for you. It’s the biggest source of antioxidants in the average diet, which means it’s great for reducing signs of aging and helping to prevent some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Another fantastic benefit comes from the chlorogenic acid coffee contains, which is linked to a reduced risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. That special caffeine boost is craved for good reason: the stimulant effects of caffeine can be beneficial for many functions of the brain, including reaction time, memory and alertness.

things to consider. If you’re trying to live a more healthy lifestyle it’s important to assess what you eat and drink carefully. Caffeine can be addictive and cause nasty withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea and cramps. Drinking more than two or three cups a day can have an effect on the nervous system, increase anxious or restless behaviour and cause difficulty sleeping and even heart arrhythmia. The acidic nature of coffee can also cause a few problems for those with sensitive stomachs, including ulcers and acid reflux. Some medical conditions or medications require a caffeine restricted diet, and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding then it’s wise to limit your caffeine intake.

removing the caffeine. The decaffeination process involves soaking the coffee beans to allow the caffeine to dissolve out. The beans lose up to 97 per cent of their caffeine content, with only a small change to flavour and nutrients; some decaf coffees can have up to 15 per cent less antioxidants, but they still offer a tasty and easy source of this essential substance. There’s also evidence that decaffeination has little or no effect on coffee’s ability to reduce your risk of certain diseases and conditions. Decaf coffee also still includes daily essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium and niacin (vitamin B3), meaning it’s an overall great option for getting that morning flavour hit. Opinion is divided about the change in taste which decaffeination causes, so try a few different blends to find one which is right for you.


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