Chia Seeds Are the Underrated Superfood With Skin-Boosting Benefits

Every day we know more and more about nutrition, and we are encouraged to include certain foods like chia seeds in our diet because of the benefits they can bring to our daily lives. (Also because we have discovered that we love them.)

Beyond nuts, seeds are one of those extra foods that more and more nutritionists have started recommending for their nutritional properties, such as flax, pumpkin, hemp, buckwheat, and sesame. The list of seeds is long, but in our opinion, chia seeds are an absolute must-have on your shopping list. In addition to being rich in calcium, iron, and omega 3, they are ideal for helping our skin regenerate.

History of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have their origin in pre-Columbian indigenous populations. Their initial use was actually known at the time of the Aztec peoples. Salvia hispanica is the plant’s scientific name, but its Mayan name refers to strength—which indicates very well the multiple benefits these seeds can bring us. María José Crispín, medical nutritionist at Clínica Menorca, highlights its great contribution in polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as omega 3) and, specifically, linoleic acid, which helps to reduce cardiovascular risk, the risk of heart attacks, and the risk of stroke.

But there is more. Chia seeds are also rich in phytosterols, which is a dietary factor that helps lower cholesterol, Crispín explains. “The phytosterol most present in chia seeds is beta sitosterol and, as a whole, they also help to further reduce cardiovascular risk,” she says. These components turn chia seeds into functional foods—in addition to providing nutrients, they have scientifically proven benefits.

Chia Seeds: Health Benefits

Another benefit of chia seeds is that they are rich in fiber. According to Crispín, this “helps reduce cholesterol in the diet and lower blood sugar levels.” In turn, they are a food rich in polyphenols, “antioxidants that prevent free radicals that are produced in our body and help reduce inflammation, but also delay aging and the risks of cancer,” she says.

“It should also be noted that chia seeds contain minerals such as calcium. For people who do not take dairy products, they can be an alternative food source of calcium,” Crispin says.

Chia Seeds: Skin Benefits

Many foods have a function beyond being good for our diet and general well-being. The health of our skin and hair can also benefit from the consumption of certain foods. “The anti-inflammatory effects of the high content of omega-3 contained in chia is reflected in the skin, reducing flaking, dermatitis or itching,” explains the nutritionist. “The same happens with the anti-inflammation produced by the antioxidants.”

How to Add Chia Seeds to Your Meals

Since chia seeds are so good for you, it’s important to start eating them no matter the time of day, says Crispín. Still, she recommends eating them at night. “It is believed that during sleep, there is a replenishment of these fatty acids in the membranes of the neurons of the brain and, in that nighttime repair, our brain needs omega-3. However, there is still no exact scientific evidence to prove this,” Crispin clarifies.

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