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