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#IngredientSpotlight: Chia Seeds

For those of you who get your daily dose of wholesome health from your mom’s kitchen, chances are that Chia Seeds are already a regular in your diet. Especially now as the temperatures soar to infernal levels. But there’s so much more these little things pack in, especially for your skin! There’s a reason it’s everyone’s favourite superfood. Let’s dive deep and see.

What are chia seeds?

Extracted from a desert plant called Salvia Hispanica native to Mexico, chia seeds are black or white in colour and gain a gelatinous consistency when soaked in water or milk. When soaked in water, it grows up to three times its size. Its low-calorie and high-nutrient value makes it a favourite ingredient among many health junkies.

 

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What makes chia seeds so special?

Turns out, a whole lot of things. It’s packed with nutrients that work wonders for the whole body – from your skin and hair to your cardiovascular, digestive, dental and bone health. The little seeds also help you regulate your appetite, making you feel full faster and longer, without leaving you undernourished.  Whether you consume chia seeds or apply it as a mask or oil, here’s what it has in store for you:

Alpha-linolenic acid: A type of Omega-3. Chia seeds are said to be the richest botanical source of Omega-3 fatty acid (almost 64%), higher than even flaxseed. Omega-3 has potent anti-inflammatory properties and can fix hyper-pigmentation. It strengthens the lipid barrier and prevents dehydration, giving you softer, firmer skin.

Amino acids: Amino acids are considered to be the building blocks of healthy skin, and chia seeds contain 18 of the 22 amino acids, including the 9 essential ones. It improves collagen synthesis and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Minerals: Chia seeds contain 18% and 38% of the daily recommended intake of calcium and phosphorus respectively. That’s five times more calcium than what’s found in milk! These minerals promote skin regeneration and maintain the natural oil balance. Calcium is known to fight the harmful effects of UV rays from within. Phosphorus helps detoxify the body, which, as we all know is essential for clear skin.

Who can use chia seeds?

People with dry to extremely dry and mature skin, as well as those suffering from eczema. However, sensitive and oily skin types stand to benefit just as much! Add a spoonful to your smoothie or breakfast bowl or apply Chia seed oil or a chia mask topically.

It’s a wonder how something so little can store so much goodness, isn’t it?

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