Good things come in tiny packages and chia seeds are the truest examples of such adage. These tiny chia seeds have taken the nutritional world by a storm due to their abundant health benefits but did you know the oil extracted from these tiny seeds is as beneficial as the seeds or even more.
Now you may be questioning the beneficiary benefits of this oil, then continue reading the article as we dive further into this topic and solve all your queries.
What is chia seed oil?
Originated from the Salvia hispanica L. plant, chia seeds belong to the mint family and are abundant in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
The chia seed oil extracted from the chia seeds is a versatile ingredient which like the chia seeds is abundant in nutrients and micronutrients and is considered as a delicious alternative to olive oil in the culinary world.
The extraction process of the chia seed oil is quite an interesting process. Chia seeds are natural products and they can get contaminated by microorganisms when the moisture levels become too high during storage.
Therefore, before beginning the extraction process, chia seeds are rinsed thoroughly to remove any microbes present on the seeds. After the cleansing process, the extraction process begins. Chia seeds contain 30℅ oil and therefore the extraction process is relatively easier as compared to the other seeds. Hence, the oil is then extracted by the process of the cold press and then packaged and exported to the markets
The chia seed oil produced consists of the following nutrients:
- Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
- Antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids
- Minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc
- Vitamin B
- Dietary fibers
Benefits of chia seed oil
The uses of chia seed oil are far and varied, and being a versatile ingredient, it provides a wide range of benefits to its users.
Some of the most effective benefits of using chia seed oil are:
- Being rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid, chia seed oil when applied to the skin helps you to moisturize and helps you to restore skin hydration especially if you are suffering from conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis.
- As already mentioned, the chia seed oil is a plethora of antioxidants and healthy fats, therefore when applied topically, it enhances the protection of your skin membrane and also helps in combating radical damage caused due to free radicals.
- Chia seed oil can act as an anti-ageing agent and therefore it reduces fine lines and wrinkles and makes your skin look radiant and youthful.
- Redness and inflammation of the skin can also be cured with the topical use of chia seed oil.
- Regular use of chia oil helps in removing dirt from clogged pores.
- Just like for skin, chia seed oil provides abundant benefits for our hair. It helps in reducing frizzy hair by moisturizing the scalp and the hair shaft. Chia seed oil being a light oil absorbs quickly into the hair shaft and seals in the moisture. This results in turning the frizzy hair into a softer and smoother mane.
- Chia seed oil also enhances the strength of your hair follicles which helps in preventing breakage and makes the hair long and healthy.
- Chia seed oil improves heart health. Being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, consumption of chia seed oil through your diet not only helps in reducing heart diseases but also helps in weight management.
- According to many scientific studies, it has been reported that chia seed oil can support brain health. The oil is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats which produces neuroprotective effects on the brain. Neurological disorders and other mental health conditions can be effectively ameliorated with the help of this chia seed oil.
How to incorporate chia seed oil into your daily routine?
Chia seed oil is a versatile ingredient and therefore can be included in your culinary dishes as well as in your beauty regime.
Some effective ways to incorporate the multifaceted oil in your beauty routine is by:
- Apply it as a hydrating mask. For this mask, mix two egg whites, a cup of yogurt and a tablespoon of chia seed oil. Blend all the ingredients until you get a fine paste. Apply it on your face or you can use it as a body mask too, using it on the required areas. Keep the mask on for 10-15 minutes and rinse it thereafter.
- Use chia seed oil as your eye cream. Pour some oil into your hands and dab it under your eyes before going to the bed. Regular topical use of this oil will help you to fight against the fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes.
- You can also use chia seed oil as your hair mask. Mix chia oil with any carrier oil of your choice and apply it to your scalp. Massage it thoroughly. Keep it on your scalp for an hour or so and then rinse it off with a mild shampoo.
- Since chia oil is very effective in maintaining the hydration levels of the skin therefore it can be used as a serum and used before your makeup. If you want a double dose of hydration, use it with your night cream for added benefits.
Chia seed oil can also be incorporated into your dishes to add a flavourful punch to your culinary creations. However, make sure not to use chia oil for cooking as it has a very low smoking point and if used for frying purposes, it can produce unwanted effects on the body.
Some other ways to include chia oil in your diet is by:
- Use chia oil for your salad dressings. Many reports have stated people having allergic reactions to olive oil, therefore for those people, chia oil can be an extremely beneficial replacement for olive oil.
- Include chia oil in your smoothies and enhance the flavor and taste of your drinks.
Since chia seed oil has a neutral taste, you can include it in almost every dish like oatmeal, yogurt and cold soups.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about the multi-beneficial chia seed oil. Chia oil has slowly made a niche for itself in the culinary and medicinal world due to its abundant benefits and now it is your time to add this amazing oil to your daily routine and reap all the benefits out of it.