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

iStock
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]

7 Massage Guns That Are on Sale Right Now

Jawku/Actigun
Jawku/Actigun

Outdoor exercise is a big focus leading into summer, but as you begin to really tone and strengthen your muscles, you might notice some tough knots and soreness that you just can’t kick. Enter the post-workout massage gun—these bad boys are like having a deep-tissue masseuse by your side whenever you want. If you're looking to pick one up for yourself, check out these brands while they’re on sale.

1. Actigun 2.0: Percussion Massager (Black); $128 (57 percent off)

Actigun massage gun.
Actigun

Don't assume you need a professional masseur to provide relief—this massage gun offers 20 variable speeds and can adjust the output power on its own according to pressure. Can your human massage therapist do that?

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

2. JAWKU Muscle Blaster V2 Cordless Percussion Massage Gun; $260 (13 percent off)

Jawku massaging gun.
Jawku

This cordless, five-speed massager uses a design that's aimed to increase blood flow, release stored lactic acid, and relieve sore muscles through various vibrations.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

3. DEEP4s: Percussive Therapy Massage Gun for Athletes; $230 (23 percent off)

Re-Athlete massage gun.
Re-Athlete

Instant relief is an option with this massage tool, featuring five different attachments made to tackle any muscle group. You can squeeze in eight hours of massage time before you have to charge it again.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

4. Handheld Massage Gun for Deep Tissue Percussion; $75 (15 percent off)

Massage gun from Stackcommerce.
Stackcommerce

With five replaceable heads and six speed settings, this massage gun can easily adapt to the location and intensity of your soreness. And since it lasts up to three hours per charge, you won't have to worry about constantly plugging it in.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

5. The Backmate Power Massager; $120 (19 percent off)

Backmate massage gun.
Backmate

Speed is the name of the game here. The Backmate Power Massager is designed for fast, effective relief through its ergonomic design. Fast doesn’t need to mean short, either. After the instant relief, you can stimulate and distract your nervous system for lasting pain relief.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

6. ZTECH Percussion Massage Gun (Red); $80 (46 percent off)

ZTech massage gun.
ZTech

This massage gun looks a lot like a power drill, and, similarly, you can adjust its design for the perfect fit with six interchangeable heads that target different muscle areas.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

7. Aduro Sport Elite Recovery Massage Gun (Maroon); $80 (60 percent off)

Aduro massage gun.
Aduro

Tackle large muscle groups, the neck, Achilles tendon, joints, and small muscle areas with this single massage gun. Four massage heads and six intensity levels allow this tool to provide a highly customizable experience.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.


Interactive Map of the U.S. Shows COVID-19 Hot Spots in Real Time

Fusion Medical Animation, Unsplash
Fusion Medical Animation, Unsplash

The map of COVID-19 hot spots in the U.S. has changed drastically in recent weeks. As cases in the Northeast (the hardest-hit U.S. region at the start of the pandemic) have declined, cases have exploded in southern states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Now, thanks to the Harvard Global Health Institute, there's a simple way to keep track of the geographical impact of the novel coronavirus crisis in real time.

As Fast Company reports, researchers at the organization have developed an interactive map that uses color-coding to mark where COVID-19 risk levels are highest. Every county's status was determined using the same metric: the number of new cases per day per 100,000 residents. If an area is green—the lowest risk level—that means it's recording less than one new COVID case per day and it's on track for containment. Counties marked red are seeing 25 or more new cases per 100,000 people and are at the highest risk level.

The tool is designed for legislators as well as the general public. While the average person may use it to guide their everyday behaviors, policymakers can use it to inform their response to the crisis. Each of the four risk levels comes with a policy recommendation from the researchers. For red counties, stay-at-home orders are strongly urged. Even green counties require viral testing and contact tracing programs to keep the virus under control at this time.

During a pandemic, misinformation is more dangerous—and, unfortunately, more prevalent than ever. Going to a handful of reputable resources for your coronavirus updates is a good way to stay informed without burning out. At the end of May, the World Health Organization released its own COVID-19 app to combat misinformation.

[h/t Fast Company]