Ch…Ch…Ch…CHIA! The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the super seed. The many Chia Pet commercials watched on how to grow chia seeds from your very own terra-cotta Chia Frog. Gaining popularity in the United States, Chia seeds are making a big comeback. They offer a wonderful source of nutrients that can easily be incorporated into your diet and can easily be purchased from any health food store.
Chia seeds are a small seed that comes from the salvia plant, which is a part of the mint family. Originally grown in South America, Chia seeds were first used as food as early as 3500 BC and were one of the main dietary components of the Aztecs and the Mayans.
Chia seeds are perhaps best known for their high omega-3 fatty acids content. In fact, chia seeds have the highest omega-3s of any vegetarian food. Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 2406 mg of omega-3s, and also contains approx. 792 mg omega-6s and 294 mg of omega-9 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are important for brain function and work as an anti-inflammatory in the body.
Another advantage of chia seeds is their ability to help maintain steady blood sugar levels. Chia seeds form a gel in the stomach that slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. Carbohydrates that quickly break down into sugar stimulate a surge of insulin to be released into the blood, causing blood sugar problems. Eating foods such as chia seeds that break down slowly helps blood sugar to rise and fall steadily throughout the day.
Chia seeds also contain a substantial amount of fiber, protein, essential amino acids, calcium and minerals. Available in white and black seeds, some manufacturers state that the white chia seed is superior. However, there is no research to back up this claim and as of now no significant difference.
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is easy. Simply add to smoothies, yogurt, salads, dressings, cereal, water… anything. They can be eaten both raw or cooked, though cooking them may damage their fragile omega fatty acids. I like to add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to coconut water and drink first thing in the morning. When adding to liquid, drink fast, as chia will develop into a gel-like consistency. Enjoy!
There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.
The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.
Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work. In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”.
SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.
SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.
Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.
Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.