September is here and with it, the start of the harvest season of one of our favorite superfoods (and superfruits!) the apple.

It's no surprise that apples are good for you -- why else would they have earned that "keep the doctor away" reputation? -- but there are a number of lesser-known reasons to pick up a juicy one today.

Some of our favorite health benefits of apples are in the slideshow below. Let us know what else you love about apples in the comments!

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  • Apples Lower Cholesterol

    One medium-sized apple contains about <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2" target="_hplink">four grams of fiber</a>. Some of that is in the form of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Heart_Letter/2009/October/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol" target="_hplink">lower levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol</a>. That's because it <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20110412/apple-good-for-your-heart" target="_hplink">blocks <em>absorption</em> of cholesterol</a>, according to WebMD, helping the body to use it rather than store it. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/steenbergs/5003036427/" target="_hplink">Steenbergs</a></em>

  • Apples Keep You Full

    Apple's wealth of fiber can also keep you feeling full for longer without costing you a lot of calories -- there are about 95 in a medium-sized piece of fruit. That's because it takes our bodies longer to digest complex fiber than more simple materials like sugar or refined grains. Anything with at least <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/high-fiber-foods_n_1543165.html#slide=1019942" target="_hplink">three grams of fiber is a good source</a> of the nutrient; most people should aim to get about <a href="http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309085373 " target="_hplink">25 to 40 grams a day</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe57spike/5937593705/" target="_hplink">byJoeLodge</a></em>

  • Apples Keep You Slim

    One component of an apple's peel (which also has most of the fiber) is something called ursolic acid, which was <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120620212855.htm" target="_hplink">linked to a lower risk of obesity</a> in a recent study in mice. That's because it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/21/apple-peel-compound-boosts-calorie-burning-reduces-obesity-in-mice_n_1614858.html" target="_hplink">boosts calorie burn and increases muscle and brown fat</a>, HuffPost UK reported. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/5082397989/" target="_hplink">PLR_Photos</a></em>

  • Apples Prevent Breathing Problems

    Five or more apples a week (<em>less</em> than an apple a day!) has been linked with <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20405639_3,00.html" target="_hplink">better lung function</a>, <em>Health</em> magazine reported, most likely <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1343502.stm" target="_hplink">because of an antioxidant called quercetin</a> found in the skin of apples (as well as in onions and tomatoes), the BBC reported. And the breath benefits of apples extend even further: A 2007 study found that women who eat plenty of the fruit are <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/04/12/us-apples-asthma-idUSCOL25916220070412" target="_hplink">less likely to have children with asthma</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonlooks/5011156498/" target="_hplink">London looks</a></em>

  • Apples Fight Colds

    While they don't quite rival <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/vitamin-c-foods_n_1457397.html" target="_hplink">oranges</a>, apples <em>are</em> considered a good source of immune system-boosting vitamin C, with over <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2" target="_hplink">8 milligrams per medium-sized fruit</a>, which amounts to roughly 14 percent of your daily recommended intake. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/free-stock/4899674251/" target="_hplink">Public Domain Photos</a></em>

  • Apples May Fight Cancer

    In 2004, French research found that a chemical in apples <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20041018/apple-day-for-cancer-prevention" target="_hplink">helped prevent colon cancer</a>, WebMD reported. And in 2007, a study from Cornell found additional compounds, called triterpenoids, which seem to <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070601181005.htm" target="_hplink">fight against liver, colon and breast cancers</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/21524179@N08/2086139540/" target="_hplink">nerissa's ring</a></em>

  • Apples Decrease Diabetes Risk

    A 2012 study published in the <em>American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em> found that <a href="http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/02/20/ajcn.111.028894.abstract?sid=27948d70-4410-4250-8df4-da2a5954918d" target="_hplink">apples, as well as pears and blueberries</a>, were linked with a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/curcumin-diabetes-type-2-turmeric-curry-spice_n_1720326.html#slide=1302487" target="_hplink">lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes</a> because of a class of antioxidants, <a href="http://www.sharecare.com/question/what-are-anthocyanins" target="_hplink">anthocyanins</a>, that are also responsible for red, purple and blue colors in fruits and veggies. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oth313/1760303362/" target="_hplink">oth313</a></em>

  • Apples Boost Brain Power

    The fruit has been linked to an uptick in acetylcholine production, <em>Good Housekeeping</em> reported, which communicates between nerve cells, so <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/nutrition/apple-health-benefits" target="_hplink">apples may help your memory</a> and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer's. A diet rich in antioxidants may have similar effects, so apples, since they are <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041116215006.htm" target="_hplink">particularly rich in quercetin</a>, are a good bet, according to 2004 research. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/olmanson/3971847536/" target="_hplink">Shaina Olmanson / Food for My Family</a></em>

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