Cozy up with your warm cup of java because it’s National Café Au Lait Day! This equal parts hot milk and hot coffee beverage simply means “coffee with milk” in French, the native language of the country where it originated. Though it’s made with only two ingredients, it offers a slew of nutrients to boost your overall nutrition.

Here are four benefits you might not realize you are getting from your morning jolt:

  • Your bones are thanking you: Healthy bones need calcium, and milk is one of the best food sources of calcium. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends three servings of calcium-rich foods per day for those aged 9 and older. Your morning cup of Café Au Lait checks one of those boxes.
  • You’ll stay lean and satiated: Just one serving of milk contains 8 grams of high-quality protein, which is important for building and repairing lean muscle. A growing body of research suggests that higher-protein diets that include dairy products have been associated with weight management and healthy body composition.
  • You are showing your heart some love: Research indicates that dairy food consumption is associated with lower blood pressure in adults. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease with nearly a third of US adults having pre-hypertension. 
  • You may live longer: A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) examined over 400,000 men and women aged 50 to 71 in the United States and found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death overall than those who don’t consume their morning cup of joe.

Mia Syn, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and national on-air nutrition expert based in Charleston, South Carolina. You can find her at nutritionbymia.com and @nutritionbymia on Instagram sharing simple healthy recipes, meal ideas and evidence-based nutrition tips.