Apples are not just crunchy, sweet and satisfying. As part of a smart diet, they can help protect against serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Consider them your healthy secret weapon.

You’ve heard it a zillion times: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Turns out there’s more truth to that than you might think. Studies show apples have powerful health benefits, particularly when it comes to fighting chronic diseases that kill millions of people each year. Here’s a short list of how eating more apples can help keep you healthy.

  1. Protects Your Heart. Multiple studies show apples are good for your ticker—in multiple ways. Their high fiber content has been shown to help improve cholesterol levels (lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol) people who eat whole fruits—including apples—are  less likely to develop high blood pressure.  women who eat  apples reduce  risk of heart disease..

2. Helps You Lose Weight. One medium apple can help fill you up for under 100 calories—so it’s no surprise that apples can help with weight loss. Turns out it’s what form of apple you eat that counts. people who eat apple slices before a meal feel fuller and more satisfied than people who will have applesauce, apple juice or no apples at all. starting a meal with apple slices helped people eat an average of 200 fewer calories compared to those who skipped the apple slices.What kind of apple you eat may make a difference, too. apples have fewer carbs and more non digestible compounds—including feel-full fiber—compared to McIntosh, Golden Delicious and other common varieties. The compounds also help feed healthy gut bacteria, potentially lowering the risk of some obesity-related problems.

Fights Cancer Apples rank second only to berries in antioxidants, making them superheroes when it comes to fighting cancer. In fact, an analysis of several Italian studies found that eating one or more servings of apples a day helped lower the risk of colorectal cancer more than eating any other fruit. Other studies in humans have found that eating apples can be helpful in preventing lung and prostate cancer. Don’t toss the peel, though—that’s where most of the cancer-fighting antioxidants are found.