What do China, Japan and Rutland, Ohio have in common? Autumn olives! My newest favourite fruit. I clearly made like a bird munching these autumn olive goodies right off the branch.
These berries are tart little things and without knowing much about them, we figured with their bright pink/red colour, they had to be potent in antioxidants. After doing a little research, I’ve discovered they are potent in many things. Wish I ate more.
what is an autumn olive?
Mark my words my little healthy hearted readers, the autumn olive will be the goji, the noni, the acai, and perhaps even the mangosteen of the future. They are potent nutritional powerhouses. Best of all – though they grow in Asia, they do also grow across the US which is much closer to home.
The autumn olive bush produces little fruits, or berries, each one containing a seed. These fruits are super-powered sources of lycopene which helps keep the prostate healthy, and is a potent anti-oxidant. The lycopene content of autumn olive fruit averages about 40 to 50 mg/100g, compared to 3 mg/100g for fresh raw tomato.
Because of the high lycopene levels in autumn olive fruit, and the potential health benefits of this phytonutrient, there has been increased interest in commercial production of this fruit. This basically means we should eat them now before industry starts messing with the supply.
Speaking of which, the Autumn Olive plant is not native to North America and governments deem it harmful as it does compete with native shrubs and plants. The governmental agriculture departments are working on having them eliminated because of their ability to spread. Funny since last I checked, GMO soy and corn crops were also spreading their seed where it was not wanted…I digress. Though it is never good when foreign plants take over from native ones, the fact that the autumn olive shrubs are tough ones to kill -sprouting, spreading and growing with a vengeance – says something about the virility and aliveness that gets captured in this berry.
I would love for you to comment with a fave random fruit that grows locally in your area.