How to Boost Your Energy Easily and Naturally

Despite all these healthy options, it is almost too easy to rely on sugar and caffeine to boost us when we are feeling down or lethargic. Instead, here are some healthier energy booster ways which will sustain better energy levels over the long term as well as in the short term. Furthermore, these will improve overall health rather than providing a quick fix which can be instead detrimental to health.

The first recommended natural energy booster is getting more sleep. This can seem a very difficult thing to do when we are excessively busy, but this does not stop it from being one of the healthiest habits that you can get into that will not only give you greater mental and physical energy, but will also help heal your tired body.

The body repairs and restores itself at night, and sleep is also necessary for our minds to process what we have been doing throughout the day. Therefore, a good, long sleep every night will leave us brighter, less stressed, and with our body performing at its best.

Of course, this can be difficult to achieve if we have very busy, demanding lives. For this reason, it is necessary to put in place several small practices which can boost the quality and length of your sleep. This can include setting a strict curfew every night, using essential oils such as lavender on your pillow, or having a warm, relaxing shower every night before bed.

These steps you take to relax, wind down and be in bed by the right time every night will help you sleep better, even if initially these will take some getting used to. It is said that, it takes twenty-one days to form a habit, so commit to a better sleep routine for this length of time and see how your energy levels and life quality can change.

Our next recommendation is using herbal and mineral drinks as a regular energy booster on a daily basis. There are several excellent herbal remedies on the market nowadays in drink form, all of which contain unique ingredient lists of herbs and minerals that have been used for centuries to improve health.

Some of these ingredients – such as iron and magnesium – actively will boost your energy levels, and with other herbs will work to boost your overall health. As mentioned above, better overall health can make you feel a million dollars and generally have much higher energy levels.

If you want to do something good for your health and have more energy, try a herbal supplement drink, preferably with added minerals such as iron or magnesium, which humans can tend to become deficient in. Replace one of your daily coffees or colas with this and your body will reap the health benefits.

Lastly, cut down on unhealthy energy boosters which will give you energy in the short term but will cause you to crash afterwards and put you in an unhealthy cycle of ups and downs. These include endless teas, coffees and sugary and high carb snacks to keep you going.

It is often impossible to give these up completely, and many enjoy one or two of these as a treat every day. However, ensure that you do not rely on them, instead replacing most of them with healthy options such as a herbal energy booster and fresh fruit, and put in place a healthier sleep routine to make you feel brighter and in better health overall.

Health Tourism – Getting More For Your Medical Dollar Abroad

In a country such as the United States of America where healthcare comes at a high price, people have raised their voice against the rising costs of treatments offered by private clinics and hospitals. A lot of people have also taken to the streets calling for reforms in the healthcare sector to ensure that quality healthcare is affordable for everyone. While it may take some more time to lower the costs involved in healthcare, a growing number of people are seen opting for a cost effective option – Health Tourism. Until a few years ago, it was practically unthinkable for Americans to visit other countries for medical attention. This was chiefly because the US is known for providing the best medical facilities to all kinds of patients. With changing times, however, people have become more cautious while spending and are no longer hesitant to visit countries like India and China to get treatment.

Countries like South Africa, India and Thailand have become popular destination for medical tourism. These countries offer medical assistance at almost 1/10th of the costs charged by American hospitals and medical centers. As a result, the number of Americans seeking medical attention for cosmetic surgeries, bypass surgeries and knee replacements has increased at a phenomenal pace in recent times. It is further interesting to note that despite opting for some of the most well known hospitals and private clinics at countries like Thailand and India, American patients are able to save thousands of dollars.

However, there is still a section of Americans that feels that Asian countries like India cannot be a safer option for healthcare amenities. To negate suspicion and ambiguity surrounding these centers, a number of Indian hospitals are now getting themselves JCI accredited. These hospitals are also getting qualified doctors and surgeons onboard who may have received their degrees from well known American universities. These factors are further boosting the prospects of health tourism.

Family Medical Budget With an RX Discount Card

Money is tight for many people nowadays, and issues over money can cause serious stress on couples and families. Unfortunately people might feel like they need to choose between their health and a full bank account, but this is not true. People can save money on their healthcare costs through many means, including using a prescription or RX discount card. Here are a few ways families can save money on health and medical costs.

Check healthcare coverage:

The choice does not need to be money or health: it is possible to have both

Whether a person is eligible for Medicare (run by the Federal government) or Medicaid (run by the State government) depends on several factors, including age, pre-existing conditions, and income. No matter what healthcare coverage a person has through government programs or through their work, they should always read and ask questions about what medical procedures are covered under their plan, how much premiums are, and how much they have to copay for said procedures. Whether a person has an RX discount card for prescriptions or not, knowing exactly what is covered under a person’s healthcare plan means being able to be informed about a person’s financial and medical health.

Talk to professional medical care staff

Some people might assume that if they get sick or run into a health scare they have to pay whatever price is available and that there are no other options for treatments, but this is not always the case. It is important for people to ask their doctors, pharmacists, and any other medical care staff they interact with questions about their health, and any medical problems that may arise. Find out if there are lower cost treatment or prescription medications that can be taken to help with any medical problems. Ask if a free RX discount card can be used for current medical prescriptions. No matter what the issue is, people should ask questions and raise concerns if they are worried about choosing between their health and their financial wellbeing.

Improve health and lifestyle

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 7 out of 10 top causes of death in the United States are for preventable diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer. For many people, making positive changes to exercise more, eat a better diet, improve sleep, quit smoking, and reduce alcohol intake will greatly improve their quality of life-and help lower their risk of getting most of these preventable diseases. While up front it might seem more expensive to eat a healthy salad than to splurge for fast food, by preventing illness through healthy habits people are saving money in the long run, and they are investing into their own wellbeing. Even if someone does get sick, they can get a free RX discount card. This card is available to anyone online and can be used to help save people money on prescription medication costs-sometimes up to 80% off the listed price. While it might not seem like a big deal, these changes can make a drastic improvement in a person’s health and, eventually, in their wallet as well.

Patient-Centered Medical Home and Population Health Management

Adopting a patient-centered medical home model for primary care providers makes more sense now since the repeal of the CMS Sustainable Growth Rate Formula. Providers who become certified as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and provide superior care will be rewarded with a bonus in future years by CMS. Population health management tools are a critical element of PCMH’s.

On April 16, 2015 President Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). This bill repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula (SGR). For all physicians there will be a 0.5% increase in reimbursement for the next four years. After that, there will be no increases for six years. The increases over the ten years will surely not be enough to exceed inflation for the same period. To overcome this real cut to reimbursement, MACRA establishes a two-tier payment track for physicians. One track rewards providers with greater reimbursement for providing better care. According to Kim Bellard on his recent blog “The Doc Fix That Doesn’t”, providers will be rewarded for adopting an advanced payment model (APM) and/or Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS). The APM’s are models such as ACO’s, PCMH’s and bundled payments. MIPS will be based upon four measures-quality, efficiency, meaningful use of EHR’s and clinical practice improvement activities. The MIPS program will be published by May 1, 2016. Physicians will be rewarded or punished based upon the criteria established by CMS. Physicians will be rewarded or punished up to 9% of their reimbursement, based upon a sliding scale. For CMS, it will be a zero sum game-the winners will balance the losers.

The patient-centered medical home has a significant history. The NCQA has published several versions of its standards for certification of PCMH’s. The most recent is the 2014 standards. Here in Michigan, I know that Priority Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan both enhance reimbursement for providers that are designated as PCMH’s. They have been doing so for several years. The national insurer WellPoint began its enhanced reimbursement for PCMH’s in 2009. With an established track record that has clearly shown a positive return on investment and with CMS intending to reward those providing PCMH services providers should consider becoming certified. Most who are presently certified use the NCQA standards.

The NCQA 2014 standards are very focused on the collection of data and storage in EHR’s, the use of teamwork and managing patient health with population level techniques. There are six standards with three levels each that providers must meet in order to be certified. Thus, providers can be a Level 1, 2 or 3 PCMH. The six standards are:

1. Patient-centered access

2. Team based care

3. Population level health management

4. Care management and support

5. Care coordination and care transitions

6. Performance measurement and quality improvement

Although each of the six has different criteria for success to be reported, each of the standards supports the others in achieving the best outcomes for patients and providers. Let me begin by looking at some of the elements of Population Health Management, Standard 3.

The first element of the standard is to collect demographic data, a key to any population health management program. These include date of birth, gender, race and primary caregiver. This data must be recorded in electronic form.

The second element of this strategy collects clinical data in electronic form. This includes an up-to-date problem list with current diagnosis, list of allergies, blood pressure and status of tobacco use. Using these two elements a practice can segregate data to as to identify all patients with high blood pressure or with unmanaged type 2 diabetes and develop a course of action to address these problems. This is a classic approach to population level health management. Such a course of action would be very supportive of the clinical team’s efforts to improve the overall health of individual patients.

In addition to the course of action described above the providers and teams segregate patients by needed prevention services (at least two), by at least 3 chronic diseases or acute conditions, by need to be seen by clinical team and by medication management strategies. These population subsets are notified to seek service at a time designated as appropriate by the clinical team. A clinic with appropriate software can have these notifications done automatically.

In the Team-Based Care strategy there are several processes that address all the population of the providers. This includes coordinating patient care across multiple settings, including having patients keeping their histories up to date by reporting visits to providers outside of the medical home. The team at the medical home uses the racial data it has collected in electronic form to identify how it needs to respond to the cultural and linguistic needs of its patients.

Many PCMH’s employ a case management specialist to meet the needs of patients with complex care needs. This can be a registered nurse or a social worker. This supports strategy 4, Case Management and Support. This person works with the cohort of patients who use a lot of resources both at the practice and outside the practice. The goal of case management is to improve the quality of life of these patients, thus reducing their high use of resources. Very often these patients are identified as a special population in strategy 3.

As one can see, because of MACRA and the initiatives of private payers practices must become more focused on the quality of care that they provide and the efforts that they are making to continuously improve that care. Providers can make strides in achieving the goals that they set in order to achieve quality goals by employing the principles of population health management. I believe that for primary care providers the patient-centered medical home is an excellent model for achieving continuously improving quality care for its patients.

Medical Massage Therapy – Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Help Your Body Heal

You may be able to help your body heal itself with medical massage therapy. More and more doctors are beginning to prescribe medical massage as a way to aid your own body’s natural ability to heal itself. They do this to minimize, or avoid, using high doses of prescription pain medications, and sometimes it can even help avoid surgery. Sometimes the therapy can relieve pain. In some cases, it can actually aid healing.

Medical Massage VS. Relaxation Massage

It is important to understand the distinction between medical massage and relaxation massage. While both may have some medical benefits, a medical treatment will be designed to help with a particular problem.

You may call yourself to schedule relaxation massage at a day spa, resort, or beauty school. Lots of people enjoy these sessions in order to relax, improve their mood, or relieve sore muscles. A session will probably be applied to the whole body, or to whatever parts of the body you request.

Compare that to a medical treatment. This will probably be applied to the part of your body that is affected. It is very specifically designed to help treat a certain injury or illness. The treatment should be prescribed by a doctor, and it should be performed by a qualified therapist.

A medical doctor will prescribe this treatment, much as they might prescribe medication. And this type of treatment may actually reduce the need for medication too. It can also relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, and improve blood circulation. Sometimes one treatment will be enough, and sometimes a patient need to schedule regular visits over a course of time.

Common Massage Therapy Treatments

There are a variety of uses for massage therapy, and more uses are being studied all of the time. Some are to relieve chronic pain caused by illnesses or pregnancy. Some may help with bloating or constipation. Still others may help people who have been injured in an accident. Patients who get treatment also tend to report an improved mood, along with relief from pain.

Warnings About Medical Massage Therapy

Keep in mind that doctors do prescribe the treatment. This is because the massage therapists are not expected to diagnose a problem, but simply to relieve it. For example, some heart problems could present themselves as back or arm pain. But if this is the case, a massage could be very dangerous. That is why a medical professional must prescribe the treatment, and the patient cannot go out and seek it on their own.

Will Health Insurance Cover Medical Massage Therapy?

Since this is accepted medical treatment, prescribed by a doctor, and performed by a licensed professional, will health insurance cover it? Many insurers do help pay for these treatments.

If you want to find out if your plan covers this, you need to do a couple of things. First you should call your insurer to find out how they will handle payments. Secondly, you will need to make sure the therapist is on your plan. Some types of health insurance, like PPO or HMO health plans, may have a list of network providers you can use. This may actually be helpful because the therapists will have to be qualified to make the network list. Other insurers may approve your treatment, but require you to file your own claims

5 Incredible Facts About Medicine of the Ancient Romes

In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans were brothers. There was the obvious close proximity of the two countries. However, their relationship was deeper than that. In fact, their cultures were so closely linked that the Greeks and Romans shared gods with different names, but similar backgrounds! However, both groups maintained a unique history and culture. For instances, here are some of the highlights about ancient Roman medicine:

1. Doctors were vital to the Roman Empire

The Roman’s Empire’s public health system was actually quite broad. While doctors in ancient Rome could receive formal training, here are some other interesting facts about them:

o Anyone in ancient Rome could refer to himself or herself as a “doctor.”
o Doctors would often serve as surgeons in the Roman Empire’s army.
o Several female doctors existed.
o Women typically served the healthcare needs of other women.
o Doctors provided free healthcare services, to those living in impoverished towns.

2. Much of Roman medicine was Greek medicine

The Roman defeated the Greeks, in the former’s formation of the Roman Empire. Afterwards, Roman doctors then accepted many of the ideas that the Greeks had, concerning medicine. In fact, most of the doctors who were practicing in the Roman Empire–were Greek! Furthermore, the works of Hippocrates, the Greek “Father of Medicine,” served as the basis for numerous Roman doctors’ training.

3. The Romans focused on public health

Obviously, the Romans were unaware of bacteria, and the use of cheap urbane scrubs to reduce their transmission. However, the Romans placed an emphasis on public health. Improvement in personal hygiene would ultimately improve public health and reduce diseases’ occurrence.

4. Rome further developed the Greek’s theories about medicines

The Romans adhered to many of the beliefs of the Greeks, about maintaining the health of humans. For instance, they focused on the importance of cleanliness and exercise. This was due to the Romans’ borrowing theories from the Greek, Hippocrates. A second century AD Greek doctor, Galen, was instrumental in developing these theories. Galen further developed Hippocrates’ notion that human bodies contained four “humours.”

5. Galen influenced both Roman and European medicine

In addition to affecting Roman medicine, Galen also influenced European medicine for more than 15 centuries! His theories and practices focused on obtaining a balance of the four humours, which he believed were inside human bodies.

The Romans would obtain advice from their doctors, while also presenting offers to various Roman gods, such as the Roman goddess of safety–Salus. Interestingly, during the 3rd century BC, this god became linked to Hygieia–the Greek goddess related to healing. Furthermore, the Romans also used Temples of Asclepius, which had originated from the Greeks.

While the Romans were not as innovative as the Greeks were, in the study of medicine, the former certainly contributed to the development of Greek concepts related to medicine. Ultimately, the Romans improved humans’ overall understanding of hygiene and health, which is noteworthy. After conquering the Greeks, the Romans would contribute to humans’ epic war on bacteria!

Pregnancy and Medical Spas – The Best Treatments

Pregnancy is the perfect time to relax and unwind, and many expectant moms take advantage of this special point in their lives to give themselves luxurious pampering treats. But while the temptation may be to indulge yourself as much as possible with massages, facials and other spa treatments, make sure you only go for ones that are particularly recommended for pregnant women.

Your skin may be a lot more sensitive when pregnant, and you may be more sensitive to pain as well. Having your legs waxed, for example, may sound like a great idea – but turn out to be excruciatingly painful, even though it’s been relatively painless the last 10 times you’ve had it done.

The vast majority of pregnant women suffer from pregnancy-related physical complaints, such as backache, muscle tension, bloating and even foot cramps. While there are numerous medical spa treatments out there which can relieve such problems, some are not recommended for moms-to-be, and can even be downright dangerous to the unborn child.

If you feel like you could benefit from a spot of pregnancy pampering, don’t leave your health, and that of your baby’s, to chance. While the vast majority of medical spas are aware of what’s safe for expectant mothers, not all are. Remember, when it comes down to brass tacks, the responsibility for playing it safe is in your hands.

Steer Straight Ahead

Here is a list of treatments suitable for pregnant women:

* Facials. Facials that are not too invasive or don’t use harsh chemicals or peels are considered safe. Try an Elemis Spa facial or or one from your favorite skincare specialist, such as Decleor or Clarins. Products that are natural and organic without any strong chemicals are the best if you’re pregnant.

* Massages. Most massages are good for pregnancy, although some women may find it too uncomfortable to lie on their back. See if you can find a med spa that has a special massage table that has a bump cut out to fit your own bump! Be aware, however, that some massage oils are not recommended for use during pregnancy, including juniper, clary sage and even, surprisingly, peppermint.

* Hair removal involving waxing. You might find this more painful than normal as most women have an increased sensitivity to pain when pregnant (see below). But leg waxing, underarm waxing and even getting rid of that bristly bikini line is considered fine during pregnancy. You wouldn’t want your obstetrician to see you with hairy legs, would you? And try doing it yourself in your eighth month…

* Pedicure or manicure. A basic mani or pedi is fine. Some people, however, believe that having artificial nails or extensions can be dangerous to the unborn child because of the chemicals used.

* Reflexology. This form of foot massage can be of great relief to some women, but it’s important to let your reflexologist know you’re pregnant. Rule of thumb is not to have treatments during the first trimester, or if you have placenta previa (low-lying placenta) or hydroaminos, or an excess of amniotic fluid after 32 weeks’ gestation. Also not good for women at a risk of deep-vein thrombosis or pre-eclampsia, or those who have gone into pre-term labor.

* Acupuncture. This ancient needle art is widely used to treat morning sickness and make expectant mothers feel more comfortable overall. It is considered safe throughout the three trimesters but you should let your acupuncturist know you are pregnant nonetheless. Some acupuncturists like to wait past the first six weeks.

Steer Clear

Here are treatments NOT suitable for pregnant women:

* Hair removal involving bleaches or other kinds of hair removing cream. Not recommended as the chemicals can be absorbed into your body.

* Electrolysis. While most practitioners agree it’s safe to have this hair removal procedure carried out on your face during pregnancy, avoid having it done on your body – and especially the nipple area during the last few weeks! Remember, also, that you may have excess hair growth during pregnancy that will go away once the baby is born.

* Chemical peels and dermabrasion. It’s assumed that the strong chemicals used can enter your bloodstream, and cause harm to the unborn child.

* Tooth whitening/permanent make-up application. Nobody knows whether these are completely safe or not as not enough research has been carried out, so it’s best to avoid them.

* Saunas, steam rooms and very hot Jacuzzis. Stay away from the heat when you’re pregnant – these types of spa treatments may sound enticing but they’re thought to be potentially harmful to your unborn child, as they can raise your body temperature to dangerously high levels. Ditto for hot mud or seaweed wraps etc.

* Treatments involving any type of injections, such as dermal fillers etc. This are dangerous as there is a chance the substance can actually reach – and harm – the fetus.

* Laser treatments. Stay away from lasers while pregnant – just in case. Most spas that offer laser therapy of any kind do not accept pregnant women anyway.

* Tanning beds. Apart fro the risk of getting overheated; a melanoma can spread to the placenta, and thus affect your unborn child.

* Tattooing. As your skin will change during your pregnancy, once you’ve delivered you might not recognize the tattoo you got while pregnant! Also, the risk of unsterilized needles makes this a no-no.

* Hair dyes or chemical straightening techniques etc. Best to wait until you’ve given birth.

Top Tips

* Keep in mind that your skin may be a lot more sensitive when pregnant, and you may be more sensitive to pain as well. Having your legs waxed, for example, may sound like a great idea – but turn out to be excruciatingly painful, even though it’s been relatively painless the last 10 times you’ve had it done.

* Many spas choose to play it safe when catering to pregnant women. Some suggest that women don’t have treatments until they are at least in their 12th week of pregnancy, and others restrict treatments to women who are more than 32 weeks’ pregnant. If you need a bit of pampering in your first trimester, opt for a simple manicure or facial and have the massage later.

* If it’s not obvious you’re pregnant, tell your practitioner, instructor or beauty therapist. It’s better that they may the decision about what is safe for you, as they know everything that is involved within a specific treatment or procedure.

Being pregnant is a fantastic time to concentrate on yourself and your changing body. It’s also a great time to indulge in pampering treatments, especially as you won’t have time to take advantage of a quiet, peaceful spa once little Junior makes his or her entrance into the world, kicking and screaming his or her little head off. So enjoy it while you can – but play it safe!

Health Medical Supplies

The purpose of this article is to give seniors and caregivers lifestyle advice that can create a positive impact. With baby-boomer closing in on retirement there are more and more seniors on the web every day. Health Medical Supplies is all about improving your life or a loved one’s life in the later years by giving comprehensive advise about health and medical supplies. In this article I just want to discuss the importance of staying active and independent for as long as possible. In my experience as a life and health insurance agent I have gone on thousands of in home appointments with seniors and I have seen everything.

I have also worked with seniors in thirteen different states, so when I say I’ve seen everything I mean literally everything, and if I haven’t seen, I’ve heard it from my co-workers. So if I had to give one piece of advise from my experience it would be “take care of your body and it will take care of you”. The healthiest seniors Ive met were always active ones, mentally and physically. I’m not saying you have to be Jack Lalanne, just try to be active is all I’m saying. Get out and walk once in a while, take the stairs, sign up for a water exercise class. Always consult your doctor before making these sort of changes to your life.

It’s amazing how big the diet industry, everyone wants to find the magical pill they can take that makes the fat melt away. So now I’m going to pass along a secret, a secret that you can use to help you lose weight that is guaranteed to work, are you ready, here it is – Diet & Exercise really work!! – whew. Glad I got that out there. When you exercise and watch what your eating you have more energy, when you have more energy you feel better, when you feel better you have less stress, etc. Its a heck of a cycle, but again it works. So what does medical supplies have to do with staying health and independent?

I will go over one of my favorites: Hot/Cold Water Therapy system is a machine that you fill up with water and then it has a tube connected to a wrap. You take the wrap and wrap it around your leg or back or hands or wherever you have pain, swelling, poor circulation, etc. You turn the machine on and it pumps hot or cold water through the wrap increasing you blood flow and reducing any pain or inflammation that you are experiences. I luckily have access to this machine so I use it my self. I like to do 15 minutes of hot water and then 15 minutes of cold water therapy until I’m satisfied. So if you have Medicare you can get one of these for nothing. So hopefully I have helped someone out today and then maybe I’ll help out another person tomorrow or next week with this article. I just know that I can reach so many more people online. So that’s it hope you enjoyed and have a great day!

My name is Michael Maryott and I have been working with seniors for about 10 years now. I mainly helped lower income seniors out with the low income programs like; Extra Help, state pharmaceutical programs, Meals on wheels, different local and state transportation programs and many others. I have now hit the net and am helping seniors get low and no cost medical supplies all over the US. Our main company Allstate Medical Supplies [] We Site is a medical supply store in Manchester, NJ that helps seniors in need get no cost medical supplies. We work with a grant program that covers seniors that qualify. Health Medical Supplies [] Blog is my blog where I address many topics like senior health & safety management, different diets and exercises, and medical supplies. We will also be posting real life stories from caregivers and seniors.

Aronia Black Chokeberry Provides Health and Medical Benefits


The health benefits of black aronia berry have caused renewed interest in them as a commercial super health food. The antioxidant properties of these black berries have led to research into their use as foods to contribute to prevention of diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammations.

Aronia Berry Products

Raw black aronia berry fruits are astringent, so the fruits are generally eaten in processed form. The berries can be canned or made into juice which can be used to make drinks and jelly. The extracts can also be used as natural colorants. As a juice product, these black berries (more commonly called chokeberry) is usually blended with other juices such as apple, black currant, cranberry and grape. It has been grown commercially in Russia since the 1940s, where it is used in juice products (mixed with apple juice), wine, and other products. It has been commercially grown in Europe in 1000s of acres where the aronia berries are used to make juice, alcoholic beverages, jams and jellies, and used as a food colorant.

In response to current worldwide human health concerns, new useful foods and healthy food products are being developed. Aronia berries are among the super fruit being processed into nectars and purees for their health benefits. It has been found that the ascorbic acid and anthocyanin levels dropped considerably during processing and also during subsequent storage, but that the new products still retained a high level of the biologically active substances found in fresh berries. Pressing the berries without heating them results in higher levels of biologically active substances. Producing aronia enriched lemon juice as a new beverage with antioxidant properties is one possible drink.

Viking and Nero are the two most popular aronia plants grown for fruit production. They were developed in Europe and are starting to become popular in the United States.

Aronia Berry Qualities

Generally, black aronia berries are high in soluble solids (12 – 20%), anthocyanins (560 – 1050 milligrams/100 grams fresh weight), have a pH of 3.3 – 3.7, and amount of alkali required to neutralize the acidic components is 0.7 – 1.2%. (This is called titratable acidity).

Anthocyanins: The pigments that cause these black berries to appear black are phenolics, primarily anthocyanins. These pigments produced mainly in the skin protect the berry pulp and seeds from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This purple pigment is the shade that filters intense sunlight. Total anthocyanin levels in black the aronia berry have been reported to be as high as 1480 mg/100 g fresh berries. This level is among the highest measured in plants grown in North America. In addition to shielding the berries from the UV from sunlight, anthocyanins contribute to the berries’ astringent taste. And, anthocyanins are antioxidants and serve to combat stress in the berries during metabolic processes. There have been no reports of side effects of eating aronia berries other than providing health benefits.

Depending on growing conditions the fruit quality can vary from one year to the next, with the anthocyanin content can differ widely from a poor production year to a good year. The anthocyanin content can increase by as much as 50% with a low fertilizer application compared to medium higher fertilizer rates.

ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) is a test that measures antioxidant strength of foods. Aronia berry is a super foods-list topper. Black aronia berry produces one of the highest ORAC values recorded, 16,062 micromoles per 100 g fresh fruit, compared to values for blueberries (highbush) which have a total ORAC score of 6,552. Acai is a berry that has been in the news, but research reveals that it takes a secondary position to Aronia berry. Acai have a total ORAC score of 5,500 ORAC and gooseberry has an ORAC score of 3277 and elderberry has a score of 14,697.

Health and Medical Debt Can Be Paid Off Through Federal Grant Programs – Rid Yourself of Debt Now

Health and education are two very important aspects in life. Your health is something that you need to maintain and without proper medical care that is extremely difficult. This care and treatment can be terribly expensive but with you health, you really don’t have many options but to pay the bill or put it on a credit card. Sometimes those two aren’t options either and you are forced to let the bill sit and collect interest and late fees. This is a really tough situation especially if you can’t hold employment and you have a family to care for.

The Federal Government is trying to put an end to this debt. For those who have had past-illnesses and are still fighting to pay the bill or for those who are presently ill and can’t afford the costs, there are funding programs that can assist you. These monies can be put towards the following areas:

• Medical treatment such as surgeries or other procedures
• Hospital bills for overnight stays and other costs
• Pharmaceutical costs for medications and various other legitimate needs

These are not difficult to apply for but you will need proof that you need the assistance and that your medical issues are genuine.

The other important section is education. Many people in this country cannot afford to get an adequate education because of rising costs. Tuition costs thousands of dollars, so tack living expenses onto that and it becomes an impossible feat for some citizens. To cover this nationwide problem, the Federal Government has added more funds to various existing grant programs and added some newer ones. Some of these grant programs include:

• Federal Pell Grant for those who demonstrate financial need
• Academic Competiveness Grant for those academically advanced students
• National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent

These grants will never have to be repaid, thus giving you access to a free education and a better career to move on to.

These two different grant categories, health and education, certainly aren’t the only ones out there but they are two very important components in most Americans’ lives. Everyone has to take care of their health and having education is many times necessary for a better quality of life. These are two things that should have been made affordable to the whole country in previous years, and that is finally being done.