Overview of Decaffeinated Coffee
Decaf Vs Regular Coffee
It has been stated through numerous sources that the health benefits of decaf coffee are in fact greater than that of positive health impacts provided by original coffee, mainly for two reasons -- Firstly: the rather 'negative' health impacts of caffeine have been removed such as its addictive (physical dependence) properties, the disruption of sleep cycles, 'coffee jitters' etc. (It is important to bear in mind there are also studies that indicate positive health impacts of caffeine also). Secondly: decaffeinated coffee can still offer the largely the same benefits as that of original coffee, as it offers the same biological and chemical aspects .
Quick Overview on the Process to Decaffeinate Coffee - How Decaf Coffee is Actually Made
There are various methods, but usually the coffee beans are steamed, and then later rinsed with a special solvent that removes caffeine from the beans whilst leaving other coffee nutrients and chemicals in the beans. Such a process is conducted until the coffee bean reaches an international standard.
[When buying a brand of decaf coffee -- It is important to realise that certain 'decaf' coffee may not actually be entirely decaffeinated and can contain up to a fifth of the 'original caffeine from the coffee'  - "and certain decaf beverages -- such as lattes -- can have as much caffeine as a can of soda" . Hence, it is important to check coffee suppliers thoroughly and research the true extent to which they have decaffeinated their coffee beans.]
The Health Benefits of Coffee - Discovery
What are the Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee?
A Quick Overview of the Claimed benefits to Decaf Coffee:
- Helps prevents various forms of cancer.
- Helps prevents many neurological diseases such as Parkinson's Disease
- Helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes
- Improved Short Term Mental Functioning e.g. recall
- Edit: Improved Digestion System e.g. prevents constipation
In the article by 'Psychology Today' -- 'Why Decaf Coffee is Just as Healthy' -- it states that like normal coffee, decaf coffee maintains four essential 'acids' that are thought to be the underlying causes of potential health benefits presented by decaf coffee. Decaf coffee contains:
1. 'Caffeic acid' (not related to caffeine, despite its similar name) poses antioxidant like properties -- antioxidants have been widely investigated for the suggestion of the prevention of various diseases such as cancer.
2. 'Dicaffeoylquinic acid' also displaying antioxidant behaviour -- as well it may be suggested that "Dicaffeolyquinic acid as a class are potent and selective inhibitors of HIV-1" -- leading to important information on the potential development of a HIV drug.
3. 'Chlorogenic acid' another antioxidant which is thought to be causing the prevention of Type-II diabetes -- suggested by a certain study to 'reduce the risk by up to a half' .
4. 'Ferulic acid' again also another antioxidant -- and is the attributed as one of the major factors why coffee can help reduce the risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Those who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day were said to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease later on in their life .
As stated above regular coffee drinkers are said to reduced the risk and severity of a range of cancers such as prostate, endometrial -- however not proven to be beneficial to all cancers such as ovarian it was thought to have no effect.
Cognitive Health Improvements -- Mental Functioning as a Result of Decaf Coffee Intake
As a result from consuming coffee -- there have been studies and tests indicating that you can improve 'short term memory recall' , 'simple reaction time', 'choice reaction time'  etc. There are additional claims that coffee may be able to battle depression , particularly in women (unfortunately, the same positive cognitive effects didn't translate over into decaf coffee, as they are primarily caffeine related) and generally found to be more beneficial towards the elderly and those who have drunk coffee for a large part of their lifetime. "Improve brain energy metabolism" -- where Dr. Pasinetti goes on to stake that decaffeinated coffee -- “This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by type 2 diabetes, aging, and/or neurodegenerative disorder” -- essentially stating that it possess properties that may help strengthen and at the least contributes towards preserving an individual's memory.
Additional Edit: Improved Digestion from Decaffeinated Coffee: As coffee has the ability to improve processing of foods and nutrients within its 'digestive tract' the gut in turn has less to work on.
Summary of the Positive Health Effects of Decaf Coffee
It is recommended that even decaffeinated coffee should be drunk with caution especially for those who are pregnant or suffer with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health risks (at least ask for advice from your health care provider). When it comes to decaf coffee and cholesterol, there are various conflicting studies -- however if you do drink decaf coffee and have high cholesterol and are concerned about its impacts, I would advise you to probably consider cutting it out your diet to be on the safe side. As shown just above, there are also decaf coffee side effects that one should also be aware of.
If you are wanting a more in depth view of the health benefits of decaf coffee (as stated above), you should definitely check out the comprehensive book that analyses the hype of food and its health risks and benefits -- 'Coffee is Good for You: From Vitamin C and Organic Foods to Low-Card and Detox, the Truth about Diet and Nutrition Claims' -- one Amazon reviewer states that "Coffee Is Good for You will educate you', entertain you, and at times it'll even make you laugh. A must-read for anyone who's ever wondered whether or not to believe the hype." Also if you have any additional remarks or you have come across any other potential health benefits of decaf coffee, then I encourage you to please share a comment below.