Researches show how milk reduces the benefits of coffee.

coffee with milk

Accumulating data suggests coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers. At first, this appears to be an anomaly that warrants further examination. However, in light of the class of polyphenol phytonutrients found in coffee beans known as chlorogenic acids and their documented potency for improving inflammation, lung function and insulin sensitivity. Therefore, these benefits may not be so surprising after all!

Indeed, they have demonstrated significant benefits, such as decreasing blood pressure in both the systolic and diastolic figures within an hour of consumption.

But how much does milk reduces the benefits of coffee? The findings from the latest research may change your mind forever.

How do you select the most nutritious coffee?

A rigorous investigation was undertaken to determine the caffeine content and chlorogenic acid levels of more than a hundred coffees.

Surprisingly, results indicated that those obtained from Starbucks coffee were notably low in both attributes – contributing significantly to the variance observed between different samples.

Starbucks coffee consistently had ten times less chlorogenic acid than the other tested samples. Could this be due to their roasting process, which is more intense and much darker than the Italian roast? Their darker-than-usual roast is likely tied to the fact that their coffee beverages are much bigger than usual and require a more intense coffee to be felt by the tastebuds.

Indeed, a higher level of roasting results in lower levels of chlorogenic acid likely destroyed during roasting. Nearly 90% of its chlorogenic acid content could be destroyed with intense roasting. On the other hand, caffeine seems immutable, stable with only a slight reduction in a darker roast.

Despite a notable difference in intensity, both medium light and medium roasts offered similar increases in antioxidant levels after drinking. Other factors, such as preparation methods or decaffeination, don’t have an effect either.

Arabica versus robusta

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that Robusta coffee contains more chlorogenic acid, which is mainly responsible for the antioxident activities. Decaffeination does not reduce the amount of chlorogenic acid. In fact, the decaffeination process can increase the amount of antioxident according to some researches.

It is not easy to find a Robusta and medium roast. Typically cultures where Robusta is enjoyed, they are roasted darker. Depending on Italy’s region, some parts drink a lighter roast. In the coffee we carry, the Arcaffe Margo and Arcaffe Giannutri are rare selections that you can find. They were initially formulated for supplies to high-end Italian cafes and hotels. They contain 40 to 50 per cent of robusta and taste mellower with a balanced expression of fruitness due to a medium-dark roast. This fits the criteria for having a rich amount of antioxidants, and you also get to enjoy a nice balance of taste.

What happens when milk is added to coffee?

milk reduces the benefits of coffee
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Milk is an essential component of the brewing process for many popular recipes.

Yet, researchers have found that mere inclusion (even in small quantities) dramatically impacts antioxidant activity – reducing it by almost 50% in just a splash and nearly 95% when made into a latte-style beverage or similar with a copious amount of milk. Luckily, this finding was only tested in a test tube and may not be the same result in humans.

In another research, those who consumed coffee with milk experienced a significant reduction in chlorogenic acid absorption compared to those drinking black. The milk cut the absorption of the chlorogenic acid by more than 50 per cent.

The bottom line is to enjoy the full benefit of coffee. A lighter roast and drinking coffee without milk command the most support. It appears that milk protein binds with the phytonutrients in coffee and negates most of the benefits.

What about tea with milk?

In the same study, researchers demonstrated how adding milk negated the beneficial health effects of tea on arterial function.

Enjoy pure black tea and consume it within a few hours. There will be discernible improvements in vascular function, whereas if one throws some milk into the tea – they significantly reduce the positive benefits!

Researchers have discovered that we experience a considerable boost in artery function when imbibing tea; however, if one were to consume an equal amount of tea with milk, it would have a similar result as in coffee, with milk proteins binding with the phytonutrients.

What about milk chocolates?

Similarly, it has a similar observation as seen on berry phytonutrients. Milk chocolates significantly reduce the antioxidant in the bloodstream. Conversely, dark chocolates with more than 70 per cent cocoa solids enjoy a spike in antioxidant activities. Research also shows that eating dark chocolate with a cup of milk blocks half of the antioxidant activities.


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