You might not know it, but there are some real health benefits to drinking organic coffee. In addition to causing less environmental damage and being better for coffee farmers, organic coffee has a lot of other pluses. After all, conventional coffee growing uses a lot of chemicals in the process. Many of the chemicals used to grow this crop aren’t permitted to be used in the countries that buy it, since they have serious side effects.

Unfortunately, the coffee itself may contain trace amounts of these substances, affecting your health negatively when you have your morning cup. Some are carcinogens, while others affect the nervous system or have hormonal effects. Buying the coffee means buying the chemicals and the health effects that come with it. This is why organic coffee is often considered to be much healthier. Many of the possible negative effects of coffee are actually from the toxins used to grow conventional crops.

In order to obtain an organic certification, coffee needs to be grown without using synthetic pesticides or other chemicals. The field itself has to be operated without any chemicals for at least three years, and must be a certain distance away from other fields that are using conventional methods. Certification organizations are used to make sure that these rules are being followed, so that organic coffee really is organic.

Conventional coffees also come with some health concerns that don’t have anything to do with chemicals. Organic coffee is usually grown using higher quality plants than many cheaper coffees, so the product is better tasting and less harsh. If you’re someone who usually avoids coffee because of the stomach upset and heartburn it can cause, these organic coffee options might be the perfect alternative to going without.

If you prefer your coffee decaffeinated, you may be surprised to know that toxic solvents are used to remove the caffeine. They can leave resides that have significant side effects. Over exposure to methylene chloride can be carcinogenic and damaging to the nervous system, while ethyl acetate can have serious liver and kidney effects. These chemicals are often used in conventional decaffeination, but cannot be used in organic coffee. These coffees are decaffeinated with water or carbon dioxide, instead.

Coffee labeled organic must have at least ninety-five percent of its ingredients certified by an organization, and it’s worth the higher price for anyone who cares about their health. Buying organic is a smart idea.