By now, many of us have sprinkled chia seeds over our cereal, sipped it in our Kombucha, or blended some into a smoothie. But these healthful morsels are not just beneficial as food—chia has become a hot new beauty ingredient that boasts pretty amazing results.
Chia oil, when extracted, contains essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, as well as antioxidants called tocopherols, explains dermatologist Dr. Julie Russak. In fact, it has highest levels of antioxidants in the oil family—beating out other popular oils like flax.
As we age, Russak explains, the barrier of the skin’s outer layer (the epidermis) becomes compromised due to thinning, weakening cells, making it harder for skin to repair itself. Topical omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which chia oil has plenty of, actually help strengthen the epidermis. “The beauty of directly applying chia oil directly to the skin is you are delivering these potent, raw nutrients directly to the source of concern, enforcing the cell membrane and improving the texture and quality of the skin,” she says.
Omega-3 is not only an anti-aging property, it’s anti-inflammatory, too, making chia oil a great remedy for irritated and inflamed skin, Nazarian says. She adds that it’s even shown success in decreasing chronic and severe itchy skin.
Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, adds that these anti-inflammatory molecules not only soothe inflamed skin, they can even reduce UV damage, to boot.
Reaching for a watermelon or cucumber after finishing an intense workout may hydrate your body twice as effectively as a glass of water, claims a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. This is so because water-rich fruits and vegetables also provide you with natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins that are lost in exercise. The study found that this combination helps hydrate you more effectively than water or sports drinks. Eating fruits and vegetables high in water content can replenish your body without all the artificial colors and flavors commonly found in sports drinks. The biggest advantage of consuming high water content foods is that they contain minimal calories and provide a feeling of fullness.
Watermelon and strawberries contain about 92 percent water per volume. Other fruits with high water content include grapefruit with 91 percent, cantaloupe with 90 percent and peaches with 88 percent water. Fruits containing 87 percent water by weight include pineapple, cranberries, orange and raspberries. Apricots hold 86 percent water, while blueberries and plums contain 85 percent water. The water content for apples and pears is 84 percent. Cherries and grapes contain an average of 81 percent water. And, a banana’s composition includes 74 percent water.
On top of the vegetables list are cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96 percent water. Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95 percent water. Ninety-four percent of tomato's weight is water, and green cabbage is 93 percent water. Vegetables that contain 92 percent water include cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers and spinach. Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight. Additional healthy hydrating foods include carrots with 87 percent water and green peas and with 79 percent water.