Over the past few years, Chia seeds have gained a lot of recognition among healthy products. ‘Salvia hispanica’ aka chia seeds are also known as the Mexican chia, which are edible seeds of a flowering plant from the mint family. The seeds have medicinal properties and have become a vital part of people’s health, skin, and hair care. The seeds are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits on your body and brain.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an incredible source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that helps to promote a lower omega-6. The seeds help in reducing the risks of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. Chia seeds might look tiny in shape but it is packed with heavy nutritions. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain around 140 calories that are 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals including zinc and copper.
Here are some benefits of chia seeds for your health, skin, and hair care.
1. Helps with Inflammation
Chronic inflammation leads to heart disease and cancer. Though inflammation is the body’s normal response to infection or injury, and it helps the human body to heal and fights off bacteria, viruses, and any other infective agents which may cause serious harm, overall it is harmful to the human body. Various unhealthy lifestyles habits like smoking, lack of activity, or a poor diet lead to chronic inflammation. It does not have any visible signs, but can be seen in your blood if checked. According to research, it showed that 20 people with diabetes ate 37 grams of chia seeds daily which in return reduced the inflammatory marker in their blood by 40%. The presence of antioxidant; caffeic acid; helps in fighting away inflammation in our body. The best way to have chia seeds is wholly having them by adding them in smoothies, pudding, baked goods, or just sprinkle them on top of cereal or yogurt.
2. Helps in Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are high in nutrients, that are vital for bone health, including magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, and protein. As a known source of calcium, the seeds are a great replacement for people who don’t eat dairy. A single ounce of seeds,i.e, 28 grams; is equal to 18% of recommended daily allowance of calcium. Research shows that when compared gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than regular dairy products. Research says that comparatively, a woman needs a lot of calcium for the proper functioning of her body. Soak some chia seeds in any kind of non-dairy milk like almond, oats, or soya; and drink or pair it with some yogurt and fruits.
3. Hydrates Skin
As chia seeds are loaded with fatty acids, it helps in moisturizing our skin. Chia seed oil is an excellent product to fight away dry skin and skin problems like eczema. And this oil is lightweight and non-greasy, so applying it won’t make your skin look oily and makeup enthusiasts can use it as a base for their makeup. Damage caused by UV rays to your skin can be healed by using chia seeds or the application of the oil. Having chia seeds can also help in reducing the redness caused by acne. The antioxidants help in strengthening the skin, reducing aging marks, and will make you look younger.
4. High on Antioxidants
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants that help in protecting the delicate fats in the seeds. We all know that blueberries are known to be high in antioxidants but it is time that we add chia seeds also in that list. Antioxidants are important for your health as it helps in defending the cells against the free radicals, which can damage cell molecules and can lead to diseases like cancer. According to researches, antioxidants from foods can have a positive effect on your health. Pair chia seeds with some salads or pudding or cereals or some daily staple food, so that you can have it daily.
5. Delivers Heavy Nutrition with Low Calories
Chia seeds are tiny looking black and white seeds but as they say, ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’, these tiny looking seeds are packed with heavy nutritional values. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients. A single ounce or two tablespoons of chia seeds supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate. This makes the chia seeds a great source of several vital nutrients. Chia seeds are grown organically and are gluten-free too.
6. Hair Growth
Copper and zinc are two minerals found in chia seeds that help in taking care of the health of the hair. Copper helps in protecting the hair from thinning and zinc helps in repairing. Our hair consists of a protein called Keratin. Consuming chia seeds that are rich in nutrients, helps in restoring the hair protein. Being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds help in overcoming hair loss and make the hair lustrous and shiny. When you soak chia seeds in water for a longer period, it forms a gel-type texture, that can be applied to your hair or the roots of the hair to fight frizziness and hydrate hair.
7. Helps in Losing Weight
Many health experts believe and have stated that chia seeds help in losing fat. And nowadays, every other individual who is on a weight-loss journey swears by it. Chia seeds contain soluble fiber; glucomannan; which absorbs a large amount of water and expands in the stomach, which increases fullness and slows down the absorption of food. The same soluble fiber leads to weight loss. The protein in the seeds helps in reducing the appetite and food intake and keeps you satiated. If you are a snack person and cannot help it, add chia seeds to your diet to fight away cravings.
8. Low Risk of Heart Disease
Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3s that might help in reducing the risk of heart disease. Study shows that consuming the seeds helps the people with a serious issue like hypertension, fluctuating blood pressure which strongly leads to heart disease. Chia seeds contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps in reducing any developing heart or any kind of health condition. The omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role to keep the heart-healthy. Using chia seed oil instead of olive oil or vegetable oil while cooking or dressing the salads will increase the omega-3s of your body.
9. Hair Elasticity
Known as high fiber, protein-packed seeds, consuming or applying Chia seeds might make your hair frizz-free and straight. It is made of 23% protein that is perfect for thickening and developing good quality hair. The infusion of chia seeds helps in reducing the dryness and roughness of your strands and heals the split ends and broken locks. The presence of zinc in the seeds helps in the generation of new hair cells.
10. Easy Incorporation
Chia seeds are very easy to incorporate into anything and everything. The seed on their own taste very bland, so you can add them to anything and eat or apply. They can be consumed raw, soaked in water, milk, or smoothies. You can add them to your cereal bowl, yogurt, puddings, or baked goods too. They can be used to thicken out any kind of sauce as they can absorb both water and fat. A very famous fact known about chia seeds is that it is a great substitute for egg in recipes.
So, now we know most of the important benefits of chia seeds. It is not only rich in nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants but also very easy to prepare recipes, DIYs for your healthcare and beauty care.
Here are some ways how you can incorporate chia seeds into your day-to-day lifestyle.
1. Breakfast Chocolate Pudding
We all love chocolate but when it comes to taking care of our health like losing weight especially, one of the main things we cut of from our diet is chocolate. But you can add chocolate to your diet by having chocolate chia pudding in your breakfast. It is super easy to make and you can have it in your breakfast without any guilt.
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup milk (any kind like cow, almond, oats, or soya)
- 1 or 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Choice of sweetener (honey, stevia, agave, maple syrup, etc)
- Pinch of salt or sea salt
Take all the above-mentioned ingredients and mix them in a bowl or a choice of your utensil and let it rest for few minutes. Then again give it a mix to prevent the chia seeds from clumping together as it absorbs liquid quickly. Cover the pudding and chill it for 30 minutes or keep it in the fridge overnight. Next morning serve yourself with some extra fruit or dry fruits as toppings like banana, strawberry, apples, almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.
Calories: 162kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 168mg, Potassium: 185mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 6g, Calcium: 301mg, Iron: 2mg
2. DIY Hair Gel
Chia seeds are known to have fatty acids that help in fighting away the dryness of your hair and make it look shinier and healthy. It helps in the prevention of dandruff as well. This DIY hair gel is easy to make at home and 100% vegan, gluten-free, and suits almost all kinds of hair and scalp. This gel will hydrate the dry scalp and condition the lustrous locks.
- 4 cups chia seeds
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tbsp Aloe Vera gel
- Few drops of essential oil of your choice (Optional)
Soak the chia seeds in the water and let the mixture sit overnight. The next day, take a saucepan, heat the mixture of water and chia seeds on medium for 10 minutes. After this, strain the swollen chia seeds using a strainer or a clean muslin cloth. Add a tablespoon of aloe vera gel in the chia seeds’ strained water, which is now formed into a gel-type consistency. Add few drops of your favorite essential oil and whisk it gently. Apply this DIY hair gel to your damp hair before using shampoo. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash it away by following your regular haircare routine. This will leave you with frizz-free, better-textured hair with a less dry scalp.
3. Exfoliating Skin Mask
Chia seeds can help in making the skin look younger and moisturizes the skin too. This DIY skin mask is the easiest and can be made in 2 minutes. All you have to do is get
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and start applying them to your face. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes as the chia seeds will start forming a gel-type consistency all over your face. After you can see and feel the consistency, start massaging your skin into circular motions to gently exfoliate your skin. After massaging, rinse it off with cool water.
Chia seeds have become popular over the last few years in the health department. These seeds are high in nutrients and that is why the seeds are weight-loss friendly. Consuming protein will drastically reduce appetite and cravings at an odd hour. And the seeds are not only good for consumption, you can add them to your beauty regime as we have mentioned earlier. Though there are still mixed reviews about these relative seeds of the mint family, scientists are still coming out with more benefits and facts about chia seeds. Till then keep trying the above-mentioned recipe and DIYs, and stay healthy.
And let us know in the comment section what do you feel about these tiny wondrous seeds and let us know how else do you use chia seeds in your day-to-day lifestyle.