The many benefits of chia seeds for skin, hair and health are already well known amongst nutrition-enthusiasts. A trendy ‘superfood’, chia seeds have taken the health industry by storm and become a part of the everyday essential diet. Extracted from a flowering plant called Salvia Hispanica, these are oval-shaped and grey-coloured seeds are recognised with the black and white spots on them. They are popular for developing a gel texture when submerged in liquid and are a staple ingredient in healthy smoothie bowls, yoghurt cups, milky beverages and snack bars. Originated in Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds are slowly but steadily becoming very popular in India as well; here are some of its major benefits and how to best use them.
- Chia seeds benefits for skin
- Chia seeds benefits for hair
- Chia seeds benefits for health
- How to use chia seeds
- A DIY chia seeds hair mask
- FAQs about chia seeds
As seen above, most of the beneficial qualities of chia seeds come from its high levels of antioxidants, ability to hold water and adding fibre content to your daily diet. Let’s look at some of its benefits in detail, focusing on beauty and health primarily:
Chia seeds benefits for skin
Some of the chia seeds benefits for skin include:
1. Fights free radical damage:
The high levels of antioxidants in chia seeds help fight free radical damage caused by UV exposure. This further helps keep signs of ageing, like fine lines and wrinkles, at bay.
2. Soothes inflammation:
Most of your skin issues are the result of some form of inflammation in the skin. Chia seeds consist of cooling properties that can help soothe inflammation and keep you healthy and calm.
3. Strengthens skin barrier:
A strong skin barrier is important to protect it from external aggressors and keep issues like acne and UV damage to a minimum. Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that help strengthen this barrier and keep it protected from environmental harm.
4. Hydrates skin:
As mentioned above, chia seeds are able to hold huge amounts of water and thus can make a very hydrating food to be added in your diet. Hydration is key to maintaining skin health and chia seeds can be very beneficial for that.
5. Helps add glow to your skin:
Rich in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and potassium, regular consumption of chia seeds can help boost skin luminosity and elasticity, making it glow from the inside out.
Chia seeds benefits for hair
Similar to skin, chia seeds also have a lot of benefits for the hair as well. Some of the major benefits are:
1. Hair strengthening:
In addition to vitamins and minerals, chia seeds are also rich in protein (l-lysine) and phosphorus, both of which are known to fortify and strengthen hair fibres to reduce breakage and shedding.
2. Hair growth:
The high levels of essential amino acids help boost scalp health from the inside, inhibiting hair fall and boosting hair growth.
3. Boosts elasticity:
The gel-like texture of moist chia seeds makes them an excellent softening agent when added to hair masks and other DIY treatments. They can help boost elasticity and make rough, dry hair silky and smooth.
4. Adds shine to tired tresses:
Chia seeds are known to be rich in zinc as well. This nutrient plays an important role in improving the ability of hair strands to protect itself from environmental damage, especially UV exposure. It can also help produce new and healthy hair cells, with improved texture and lots of shine!
5. Can help inhibit thinning:
Another essential nutrient that is found abundantly in chia seeds is copper. This ingredient is known to help boost blood circulation on the scalp and arrest thinning of hair.
Chia seeds benefits for health
Here are some amazing chia seeds benefits for health:
1. Supports gut health:
The highly water-soluble fibre content in chia seeds can help support gut health in more ways than one. It delivers good bacteria to your intestines and aids in regulating bowel movements - which can do wonders to keep your digestive system happy.
2. It can aid in healthy weight loss:
The water retention quality of chia seeds makes them a healthy protein-rich snack which makes you feel full. They can help replace unhealthy snacking habits in an effective way.
3. They are a good source of calcium:
If you do not like to eat dairy products, chia seeds can be a good calcium substitute for them to maintain bone health in your body.
4. They are a good stress-buster:
Rich in compounds like tryptophan and magnesium, chia seeds are known to lower stress levels and help your sleep better.
5. They help support heart health:
The essential fatty acids in chia seeds can help boost good cholesterol in your system, making a daily dose of it good for maintaining heart health.
Now that you know the many benefits of chia seeds, here’s how you can use them...
How to use chia seeds
There are two ways you can make the best use of chia seeds:
1. Chia seed diet:
Chia seeds can be added to your diet in many ways.
- You can consume them by soaking them in water overnight and drinking chia water in the morning.
- They can be added to smoothies, cereals, baked goods and salads.
- They can also be roasted to be sprinkled on bread and/or mixed with other grains to cook with.
- Chia puddings and jams are a common alternative for other sugary-desserts. But by far the most popular ways of consuming chia seeds are yogurt cups and protein bars - you can also add them to a variety of beverages to keep their consumption light and easy.
2. DIY skin mask:
Chia seeds can be applied topically to the skin as well.
- You will need 1 teaspoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a glass bowl.
- Soak the chia seeds for about 20 minutes until they develop their gel-like texture. Add the gooey seeds to the honey and olive oil, mix well till it forms a paste. Apply to your skin and gently massage for a couple of minutes.
- Leave for another 20 seconds and wash off with lukewarm water.
This DIY remedy is excellent for managing acne, fading dark spots and deeply moisturising your skin.
A DIY chia seeds hair mask
Apart from consuming them, a DIY hair mask can also help add shine and gloss to tired tresses; mimicking the effects of protein treatments, they work as a deep conditioning mask.
- Mix 6 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a quarter cup of organic honey and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds in a glass bowl.
- Put the mixture bowl into the microwave for 30 seconds, get it and out and set it aside to cool down.
- Dampen your hair and apply the mixture into your hair and leave it for 5-10 minutes.
- Wash off with water, shampoo and work in a conditioner to finish the routine.
- Let your hair air dry for best results.
FAQs about chia seeds
1) Can chia seeds be bad for you?
A. While chia seeds are generally safe to consume, they do pose a risk of choking if not prepared properly. Before consuming, make sure they have been submerged in water long enough to turn gel-like and soft.
2) What is the right time to eat chia seeds?
A. Chia seeds can be consumed at any time throughout your day - whether you drink chia water on an empty stomach in the morning or with a full meal, there are no rules for consuming them.
3) How long do you need to soak chia seeds?
A. Depending on the kind of preparation you are going for, chia seeds can take a minimum of 30 minutes to reach a chewy consistency. But if you are planning on drinking chia water, you can submerge the seeds overnight and drink it first thing in the morning.