Conscious consumers who care about things like cage-free eggs, the waters their fish swim in and if their beauty products have parabens in them, may also want to start paying attention to how their supplements are produced and how their ingredients are sourced.

More than 77 percent of Americans report taking dietary supplements, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. And while it may seem like a vitamin is a vitamin no matter what the brand and that all superfood sources are alike, manufacturing may actually play an important role in not only the concentration of ingredients in each product, but also whether or not the products have additional contaminants.

Take the popular superfood, cacao, for instance. Cacao and cocoa are considered by some to be a superfood because they contain flavanols – which have been shown in research to be beneficial to cardiovascular and brain health. Powdered and other forms are ubiquitous in retailers and on e-commerce websites in different brands and price points. However, some reports have indicated the amount of flavanols can vary widely from brand to brand and, worse, some may contain harmful levels of contaminants that are dangerous to consume on a regular basis.

The ripening cacao cocoa bean.

One report, published by evaluated multiple forms of flavanol sources including: dark chocolate, cocoa powder, nibs, extracts and supplements. It noted that not all products are labeled with the concentration of flavanols they contain, so consumers can’t be sure they are getting the right amount. The report also reviewed contaminants such as heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic, in independent tests. Shockingly, some products were shown to have more cadmium than they have flavanols.

If maximizing flavanols is truly what consumers want when they spend on a superfood, a cocoa flavanol supplement like CocoaViaTM may be worth considering – not a chocolate bar or traditional cocoa powder. selected CocoaViaTM as their “top pick,” noting that they have a “large amount of flavanols” and that the “exposure to cadmium is also extremely low.” Additionally, because CocoaViaTM packs so many flavanols in a single serving, it was found in this report to have the second lowest-cost source of flavanols – as low as 44 cents for each 200 mg. The key for all of these high-quality attributes? It’s made differently.

CocoaViaTM has a proprietary process called Cocoapro®, which begins with the freshest cocoa beans possible, collected from local farmers and dried within 24 to 48 hours of harvest. CocoaVia™ is also one of the few brands that can trace its beans back to the Indonesian farmers that grow the cocoa. It is how CocoaViaTM can ensure 450 mg of cocoa flavanols in each serving – the highest concentration available in a supplement today.

So, when shopping for superfoods and supplements, a bit of homework can help identify which brands are made with a higher standard so that their potential benefits are maximized.

© 2020 Silver Disobedience Inc. (SP)