University Researchers Across the Country Want to Pay You $300 to Eat Avocados

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iStock

Attention Millennials: You can now have your avocado toast and get paid to eat it, too. According to Insider, researchers at four universities across the country are looking for volunteers to eat an avocado a day to see if it keeps the doctor away.

More specifically, researchers want to test whether an avocado-centric diet helps reduce belly fat (visceral adipose fat), thereby promoting weight loss. Although avocados contain the most fat of any fruit, past research has shown that people who eat more avocados have smaller waists than those who eater fewer avocados or none at all—even if the two groups consume a comparable amount of calories.

If you qualify for this study, you'll be paid $300 for your time and efforts, on top of receiving a free health screening, "small gifts" throughout the study, and free avocados, of course. One group of participants will be instructed to eat an avocado each day for the six-month duration of the study, while a control group will be told to eat no more than two avocados per month during the same period. Participants will be randomly assigned to groups.

Although Hass Avocado Board is sponsoring the study, researcher Joan Sabaté of California's Loma Linda University—one of the participating universities—says this detail won't affect the outcome.

"For the last 20 years, we have been doing dietary intervention studies on plant-based foods and nuts. We are rigorous in our selection of projects," Sabaté said in a university statement.

Researchers from Penn State University, Tufts University, and the University of California, Los Angeles, are also conducting their own trials, each with 250 participants. Test subjects may be asked to pick up their supplies, so this opportunity is best suited to people living near one of the participating universities' campuses.

Although Millennials as a group have demonstrated an affinity for avocado, the only age requirement for this study is that participants be over the age of 25. Some physical requirements do apply, though. To see if you are eligible, visit the study website.

[h/t Insider]

How to Relieve a Tension Headache in 10 Seconds, According to a Physical Therapist

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iStock.com/SIphotography

The source of a pounding headache isn't always straightforward. Sometimes over-the-counter painkillers have no effect, and in other cases all you need is a glass of water to ease the pain. When it comes to a specific type of a headache, Prevention recommends a treatment that takes about 10 seconds—no fancy medications or equipment required.

If you're experiencing pain throughout your head and neck, you may have a tension headache. This type of headache can happen when you tense the muscles in your jaw—something many people do when stressed. This tightening triggers a chain reaction where the surrounding muscles in the head and neck become tense, which results in a painful, stiff feeling.

Fortunately, there's a way to treat tension headaches that's even easier than popping an Advil. David Reavy, a physical therapist known for his work with NFL and NBA athletes, recently suggested a solution to Prevention writer Christine Mattheis called the masseter release. To practice it yourself, look for the masseter muscle—the thick tissue that connects your jawbone to your cheekbone on either side of your face—with your fingers. Once you've found them, press the spots gently, open your mouth as wide as you can, close it, and repeat until you feel the muscle relax. Doing this a few times a day helps combat whatever tension is caused by clenching your jaw.

If that doesn't work, it's possible that the masseter muscle isn't the source of your headache after all. In that case, read up on the differences among popular pain killers to determine which one is the best match for your pain.

[h/t Prevention]

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears (and How Often You Should Be Doing It)

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iStock/Group4 Studio

When it comes to keeping our dogs looking their best, we usually do all the normal pampering—giving them baths, cutting their nails, brushing their teeth, and grooming their fur. But one task that often gets overlooked is cleaning their ears.

Ear infections are a common ailment in dogs—particularly in breeds that have long, droopy ears (like cocker spaniels or basset hounds) or those that grow hair in their ear canals (as poodles do). A foul or yeasty odor in the ears is one quick way to tell if your pup might have an ear infection; redness and discharge, or frequent head-shaking or scratching, are some other signs that there might be an issue. If your dog seems to be in pain or cries when you touch around their ears, you'll want to schedule an appointment with your vet for as soon as possible.

Even if your dog doesn't seem prone to ear infections, it's important to keep their ears clean in order to keep it that way. According to Dogster, you should be cleaning your dog's ears anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on the breed. Your vet can give you a recommendation for how often you should be cleaning your pup's ears, and even a quick lesson on how to do it yourself at home.

If you're uncomfortable undertaking the task on your own, your vet can do it for you—as can a dog groomer. But if you want to give it a try on your own, it's actually pretty simple. All you really need are some cotton balls and a vet-approved ear cleaner (your vet may sell one, or be able to tell you the nearest pet supply store or website that does).

According to Dogster, you should apply the dog cleaner to your dog's ear with a cotton ball or gauze. Squeeze a bit down the ear so that it makes its way into the ear canal, then gently massage the dog's ears near the base in order to break down any debris and/or ear wax. If your dog needs to shake their head, let them. Then, use the cotton ball or gauze to wipe the inside of the ear clean. (It may take a few swipes to clean the ear out fully.)

Though you may be tempted to use a cotton swab, just as with your own ears, this is a bad idea. "I generally don’t like to put Q-tips down the ears because I don’t like to push stuff down," Dr. Jeff Grognet, co-owner of Mid-Isle Veterinary Hospital in Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada, told Dogster. "This dilutes the ointment, but also, in some cases, the ointment doesn’t even get through to the skin inside the ear."

Cleaning your dog's ears is definitely easy, and important enough that there's no excuse not to make it a part of your regular grooming routine.

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