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Known as Japanese silverberry, umbellata oleaster, autumn olive, autumn elaeagnus, or spreading oleaster.
The species is indigenous to eastern Asia and ranges from the Himalayas eastwards to Japan.
The berries of this highly invasion non native tree contain high levels of vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, essential fatty acids and the minerals phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
The fruit also contains high amounts of lycopene, a carotenoid pigment most commonly associated with tomato. Lycopene content of autumn olive fruit averages about 40 to 50 mg/100g, compared to 3 mg/100g for fresh raw tomato and 10 mg/100g for canned whole tomato. Lycopene is considered an important phytonutrient, and is thought to prevent or fight cancer of the prostate, mouth, throat and skin, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The berries are tasty right off the tree or in in jams, smoothies, desserts. Also, eating the berries is a great way to limit the number of seeds making new trees on your property.
additional health information
The American Cancer Association discusses lycopene
How Lycopene works (The Anti-Cancer Properties of Lycopene)
The American Institute for Cancer Research says, "Lycopene could possibly be used to prevent or treat skin cancer caused by UVB rays."
1 quart is equivilant to roughly 4 cups of berries and makes 5-6 8oz jars of jam.
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