Coffee seems to be good for us—and adding milk to the brew makes it an even healthier drink.
The combination gives the drink anti-inflammatory properties that help boost our immune cells, and especially our white blood cells that fight bacterial and viral infections.
It’s down to simple chemistry, say researchers from the University of Copenhagen. Coffee beans are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress, and milk is full of proteins, and the combination makes immune cells twice as effective at fighting inflammation.
In animal studies, the researchers were surprised just how quickly white coffee took effect.
They reckon they would see similar effects in any drink or meal that combines polyphenols and proteins, such as a meat dish with vegetables, or a smoothie drink that includes milk or yoghurt.
There could also be something else going on. People don’t easily absorb polyphenols, but adding protein to the mix seems to improve their uptake.
Polyphenols are found in fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine and beer—and adding a little protein could supercharge them.