Are flaxseed sprouts really higher on omega 3s than the seeds?

Commented on November 02, 2015
Created November 01, 2015 at 6:53 PM

I can't afford to buy animal foods high on omega 3s (grass-fed meat, wild-caught fatty fishes, omega 3 eggs, supplements, etc). I'm not a vegetarian, but I tried to supplement with flaxseeds, seeing as these at least are cheap, but they didn't agree with me. I read somewhere that planting the seeds and eating the sprouts not only significantly reduces the anti-nutrients that may be the cause of why they disagreed with me; but also increases by as much as three times the amount of omega 3s they contain.

My question is: considering that greens are by definition low on fat (isn't that one of the reasons why we always add some oil to a salad? Because otherwise they are unpalatable?) how can the flaxseed sprouts contain more omega 3 rich oil than the seeds? I thought vegetable oils (with the exception of cold-pressed olive oil) were always extracted from the seeds, because it's those that contain the oil, not the sprouts. How is it possible for flaxseed sprouts to contain much more omega 3s than the seeds?

Thanks for any replies.

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on November 02, 2015
at 11:10 AM

Flax is not a good source.  It's mostly ALA which most people have a hard time converting into DHA and EPA, if at all - some don't have the genes for it, and even those who do do so poorly.  Worse than that, like soy, flax is a phytoestrogen that will mess with your endocrine system.

You're much, much, better off with sardines.


on November 02, 2015
at 12:14 PM

Thank you for your replies. I got my information about flaxseed sprouts in the Dr. Sprout site: "Sprouting flax increases the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and, since sprouted flaxseed is more bioavailable, your body can absorb and utilize the essential oils more efficiently."

The reason why I disregarded sardines is because I assumed they were raised in captivity, and I heard that fishes must be caught in the wild to contain omega 3s. Are canned sardines always by definition wild and omega 3 rich?



on November 02, 2015
at 01:26 PM

no, anchovies, mackerel, sardines, and herring are all wild.



on November 02, 2015
at 03:34 AM

Sprouted seeds will have more available proteins, because the original, undigestible proteins in the seed have been broken down by germination enzymes. But I never heard of increased fat availability, because fats are always digestible. If anything, there should be less fats, because the fat in the seed is digested to make the soft fiber of the sprout. Also, you do not want to plant flax seeds in dirt. Dirt is fine for sunflower or peas. For flax, it is best to use coir, but actually I grow them in a clay saucer. The clay absorbs enough water to keep them growing (also, there are other seeds that make nicer tasting and easier to grow sprouts. Flax makes a big gooey thing which is hard to work with).


At any rate the cheapest O3 is canned mackerel or canned sardines. That is where I get all my O3 rich foods, sardines two lunches a week.

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