For a long time, the only people interested in chia seeds were the people who enjoyed watching green "fur" sprout on a decorative clay figurine shaped like an animal. But chia seeds have come a long way since then, and today they're widely recognized as a superfood, with good reason. They're high in the omega-3 fatty acids that are good for brain development, as well as calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. There's no question that they're good for your health. But you may not know that chia seeds also have incredible beauty benefits as well. Take a look at a few of the chia-based beauty secrets that you need to know about.
Do you want thicker, fuller hair? Are you worried that your hair is thinning and looking for a way to stop premature hair loss? If so, chia seeds can help. They're full of the exact nutrients that encourage new hair growth. For example, 16% of the weight of a chia seed is protein, a vital nutrient for healthy hair growth. Chia seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid. Deficiencies in alpha-linolenic acid are associated with hair loss. Another major cause of hair loss in women is iron deficiencies, and chia seeds are a great source of iron as well. And if you're hoping to delay the onset of gray hair, you might be happy to learn that chia seeds contain copper, which not only helps with hair growth, but can also delay graying and enhance your natural hair color.
You can boost your hair growth even more if you mix chia seeds with other foods that boost hair health, like spinach, bok choy, prunes, sunflower seeds, and oats. And chia seeds can also be used to help style your hair. Make your own chia hair gel at home by combining a cup of water with two tablespoons of whole chia seeds, and simmering them on low heat while stirring constantly. After five minutes, remove from heat, add two tablespoons of food-grade aloe vera gel, and cool. Use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove any leftover seeds, and store the mixture in the refrigerator. You can apply it to wet hair as a gel, or to dry hair as a conditioning treatment. If you like, add a few drops of an aromatic essential oil like lavender to give your gel a pleasant scent.
In order to grow long nails that are healthy and not brittle, you need many of the same nutrients that you need to grow thick, healthy hair. Protein, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids all work to strengthen your nails and help them resist breakage and damage.
Additionally, chia seed oil can help moisturize your nails. Just apply a drop or two of chia seed oil to your nail beds and cuticles and massage it in thoroughly to hydrate them. Soon, you'll notice that your formerly dry, dull nails are now glowing and vibrant.
Chia seeds are great for your skin. The B vitamins in chia seeds give them anti-aging properties, and the seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight acne and other skin inflammations like eczema and rosacea. They also contain antioxidants that can help repair sun-damaged skin.
The chia seeds themselves make a great exfoliating agent, and while ordinary exfoliators don't do much to help your skin retain moisture, chia seeds can absorb large amounts of water, which creates a gel that helps moisturize your skin. Make a chia-based exfoliant at home by mixing ¼ cup of coconut oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Simply mix the ingredients together and store them in a clean jar or container. Make sure to refrigerate the mixture. Apply the scrub to your damp face in a circular motion and allow it to set for a few minutes before removing it with a wet washcloth.
Sure, the health benefits alone are a good enough reason to incorporate chia seeds into your diet. But as long as you have the seeds, why not take advantage of their amazing beauty benefits as well? Keep these tips in mind next time you buy chia seeds.