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What Sprouting Does To Flax Seed


The major drawback with using conventional flax seed products is the stability and availability issue. For example, ground flax seed and flax oil have a shelf life of only a few months and ideally should be consumed within 30 days from opening. Also, nature designed all seeds to conserve energy until they are planted or ready to grow. In other words, they were designed to bypass the digestive process in animals and humans. In the case of flax, the raw seed contains elements that will inhibit its digestibility (S. Gurshe, 1999) unless sprouted which is the beginning of the growing process.

The patented process used by Pura Vida changes flax from a seed that is essentially indigestible, to a naturally activated food (Table 1 below). During germination of the flax seed, "self-digestion" starts and transforms the nutrients stored in the dormant seed. It happens due to development of digestive enzymes (cellulase, protease, lipase, amylase) and vitamins (A, B, C, choline and folate), enhancing bio-availability of nutrients and minerals. As a result, from the same amount of our sprouted product (when compared to raw seed) consumers will get even more benefits. The increased benefit could be as much as 14% more for lignans, up to 50% for other nutrients, and up to 1000% for some vitamins and enzymes. When dried to a low level of moisture content and powdered, sprouted seed is shelf stable for years and needs no refrigeration.

Because stability and rancidity (oxidation of lipids) are concerns due to the extremely high oil content of flax seed, the patented sprouting process naturally increases the antioxidant content, which protects the polyunsaturated fats from oxidation. This naturally stabilizes the essential fatty acids. Unlike any other flax product currently available, sprouted flax powder is shelf stable at room temperature for over two years after opening.

Table 1

Comparison of Properties and Benefits in Flax Seed
 Based Products (AVD, 2007)


                                                       Sprout                        
Properties and                           Revolution       
Benefits                                     Flax Powder               Flax Oil               Flax Seed                Milled Flax Seed

PUFA's (incl.Omega-3EFAs)          Yes                            Yes                         No                                Some
Fiber                                                    Yes                            No                       Some                             Some
Lignans                                               Yes                            No                         No                                Some
Enzymes                                             Yes                            No                         No                                Some
Vitamins                                              Yes                            No                         No                                Some
Phytochemicals                                 Yes                            No                         No                                Some
Nutrients                                             Yes                          Some                       No                                Some
Minerals                                              Yes                          Some                       No                                Some
Storage Conditions                      Dry Room               Refrigerated            Dry Room                    Refrigerated
Shelf Life                                           Years                        Weeks                   Years                             Months