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Super Ingredient of the Day: Chia Seeds

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Meaning ‘strength’ in the Mayan tongue, chia seeds are widely regarded as one of the healthiest foods to eat. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants, these diminutive black and white seeds are now incorporated in almost every food item on the table! In fact, there’s been a bit of a buzz lately, that this super ingredient is now being included in the daily beauty regimen by many women. Yes! Chia seeds have beauty benefits too. Let us share some of them with you.

Beauty Benefits of Chia Seeds:

For Skin:

1. It keeps acne at bay 

Chia seeds are amazing healers for acne. Mainly because, they are rich in anti-acne nutrients such as zinc (which fights acne bacteria), omega-3 fatty acids (which hydrates dry acneic skin), fiber (which flushes out acne causing toxins) and protein (which repairs cells and heals acne faster). Besides, a daily use of the chia seed mask could also help reduce skin redness and hydrate your skin inside out.

2. Promotes a smooth and glowing skin

The omega-3 acids in chia seeds moisturise and feed your skin cells with the nourishment they need. These acids strengthen the cell membranes, keeping away all toxins and irritants; thus, promoting a smooth and glowing skin.

Besides, the chia seed oil could also serve as the perfect alternative to your chemical-based serum. Just apply three or more (whatever suits you skin type) drops to your skin and you will get a healthy glow in no time. Even better, consuming chia seeds on a regular basis encourages healthy cellular function, which increases your skin radiance.

3. Prevents the signs of ageing 

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients (In fact, it contains about 30% more nutrients than blueberries!). It comprises of a Alpha-Lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant which helps prevent certain signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. Besides, chia seeds also contain vitamins B and E. Where, the former helps in fighting off pro ageing free radicals (which degenerate healthy skin cells),the latter helps combat ageing lines; while deeply moisturising the skin from within, giving it a youthful glow!

4. Moisturises dry skin

Chia seeds are also well known for their skin hydrating properties. Not only do they improve your skin’s texture but also prevent your skin from losing moisture. In fact, the oil extracted from chia seeds is clinically proven to increase the skin’s hydration. It reduces the transepidermal water loss and prevents moisture loss in even the driest part of the skin.

5. Strengthens your nails 

Rich in fatty acids, chia seeds strengthen your nails and enhance their resistance against breakage and damage. Incorporating chia seeds in your daily diet will keep your nails healthy and cuticles moisturised. Besides, massaging some chia seed oil on your nail beds and cuticles, will keep them hydrated and soft.

 

For Hair:

1. Stimulates hair growth

To look and feel healthy our hair needs adequate moisture and protein. As any lack of protein would only cause sudden hair loss. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, which is crucial for hair growth. The nutrient powerhouse contains about 19 essential amino acids which are extremely beneficial for healthy long hair. Eat chia seeds on a regular basis to strengthen your hair follicles and promote long luscious hair.

2. Increases the strength of your hair

Using chia seeds for hair increases its elasticity and strengthens it from within. In fact, the protein found in chia seeds (popularly known as keratin), surrounds your hair cuticle with a protective layer and helps repair damaged hair as well!

3. Promotes shiny, healthy hair 

Zinc in chia seeds plays a very important role in the production of new hair cells, which maintains the oil levels in your scalp. A constant supply of sebum in the scalp will keep your crowning glory shiny and well-conditioned.

4. Serves as an antidote to dry, frizzy hair

Typically, chia seeds form a gel when they’re soaked in water for long hours. Smooth and simple, this gel can hydrate dry frizzy hair quickly.

5. Delay’s the graying of hair 

Found in every hair care product, copper is crucial for proper growth of hair. And, chia seeds are a rich source. An important mineral, copper promotes the production of melanin, which delays the graying of hair and intensifies the original hair color. So next time why not switch your chemical-based shampoo for some soothing homemade chia hair masks. 

How to Use Chia Seeds:

Mild and nutty, chia seeds are best consumed on the kitchen table. They are absolutely flavourless and could be added in any drink or food item easily. Unlike flax seeds they don’t need to be grounded as they are fine and turn soft once soaked in water. Although chia seeds work wonders when consumed raw, they could also be prepared well before eaten.

Besides, the topical application of chia seeds is also feasible. One basic recipe you could follow is to grind up a ¼ cup of organic (optional) chia seeds and then soak in one cup of water for about 30 minutes to break them down and create a sort of chia goop. Apply it to the face and body, or work it into the hair, massaging it into the scalp from root to tip. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Another option is to purchase chia seed oil. It’s great for everyday applications – just use a few drops of it directly on your skin, or add 2 to 3 drops to your moisturizer, shampoo, or bath water.

Since we can’t resist a good DIY recipe, here are some more ideas for incorporating chia seeds into your beauty regimen: 

1. Chia Body Scrub

Give your body a refreshing experience with the chia body scrub. All you need is about a  tablespoon of chia seeds, ½ cup of semi-solid coconut oil along with ¼ cup of grapeseed oil, 1 cup of organic sugar and some freshly mashed strawberries.

2. Chia Anti-Ageing Mask

Get rid off those fine lines and wrinkles with the chia anti-ageing mask. Just combine  2 tablespoons of chia seeds with about 2 cups of cooled green tea and a tablespoon of organic honey, and your mask is ready to be used.

3. Chia Exfoliating Face Scrub

Chia seeds have a mild texture that allows them to exfoliate your skin by acting on dead skin cells, excess sebum, dirt and grime from skin pores. Make your own exfoliating face scrub with this easy recipe. All you need is 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon chia seeds.  

4. Chia Seed Hair Mask

Give your tresses some extra pampering with this DIY chia seed hair mask. Simply blend in 1 teaspoon of pre-soaked chia seeds + 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar + ¾ cup of organic honey + 6 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, and your hair mask is ready to use.

5. Chia Hydrating Mask

Hydrate your skin with some egg whites, yogurt and chia seed oil. This mask is the perfect solvent for all skin types.

6. Chia Seed Lip Gel

The oil from chia seeds is a fabulous lip plumper. The omega fatty acids hydrate and moisturise your lips, giving them that gorgeous pout. Just massage some chia seed oil or chia seeds mixed with water on your lips.

(Image Source: Instagram)

About the author

Monika Doshi

Digital content writer, dancer and an avid reader of thriller fiction. Have an obsessive urge to travel and explore whatever comes in my way. With an even inescapable love for my stack of lipsticks!