Love your coffee? Turns out, it loves you, too.Starbucks may be about to hike their prices for coffee, but we don't think that will put a damper on the worldwide love of java. As far as we can tell, America would grind to a halt without the stuff. Americans average about 1.5 cups per person, per year (and 3.4 cups per coffee-drinker, per year).
And that's a-ok, says RealAge cofounder Michael F. Roizen, M.D. In recent months, researchers have found coffee and caffeine offers a variety of health benefits. From preventing heart disease to fending off cancer, here are five ways coffee does your body good:
Related: Not a coffee drinker? Here are 12 ways tea boosts your health.
1. Preserves your memory. Three or more cups of coffee a day can slash your threat of Alzheimer's and dementia by up to 65%. Coffee releases a substance called GCSF that helps sweep the plaque build-ups seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
2. Protects your heart. "One to two cups daily makes your blood vessels limber," says Roizen. "They'll expand and contract better with every heartbeat." That's good news for your ticker.
Related: 10 steps to a healthier heart.
3. Fights diabetes. As coffee consumption goes up, diabetes risk goes down, Roizen notes. Sipping four cups daily improves insulin's effects and reduces your diabetes risk by a third.
4. Prevents strokes. Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day may cut your stroke risk by up to 19%.
5. Cuts cancer your cancer risk. That's right, java is a really potent weapon against cancer. For women, the latest research suggests drinking four cups of coffee a day may lower their risk of endometrial cancer by up 25%. Postmenopausal women who sip at least five cups a day may cut their risk of certain types of breast cancer in half.
For men, coffee -- both caffeinated and decaf -- may fend off prostate cancer.
And for both sexes, three cups of coffee a day may help fight the most common skin cancer. "If basal cell carcinoma has quietly gotten a toehold, coffee acts to shut it down," Roizen explains.
"If you like coffee and it likes you (it doesn't give you migraines, jitters, an upset stomach or offbeat heart rhythms), enjoy," says, Roizen, who prefers his java black.
Get more health tips from RealAge:Living in a body twice your age? Find out -- take the RealAge Test.
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