Dr. Oz's father-in-law, Dr. Gerry Lemole, is a cardiothoracic surgeon, just like Dr. Oz himself. Here is what America's Favorite Doctor has to say about the best health advice he has received from his father-in-law. You may be surprised about the exact bodily system these two cardiothoracic surgeons focus on!
"For over 30 years, he [Dr. Gerry Lemole] has given me loads of advice on being a doctor, on being a parent, and on how to live a better life for a longer time.
We even follow his advice in the kitchen. His diet plan is one of the best pieces of advice he’s given us – and I’d love to share it with you. And it has to do with eating for your lymphatic system. Gerry believes that a healthy lymphatic system can help fight off 80% of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and even arthritis.
Not too many think about their lymphatic system when they think about keeping healthy and working toward longevity.
What is the lymphatic system? Imagine your body is a house. Fresh water is kept under a certain amount of pressure in an intricate system of pipes in order for it to circulate around the house – to the bathroom, to the kitchen, etc.
As you use this water, while taking a shower or washing your hands, the water goes out of the pipes, but you can’t exactly put the water back into those pipes. (That would be gross.) That’s why your house has another system of pipes, drainpipes, which take used water out of the house to the sewer system or septic tank, so your house doesn’t flood with water.
Your lymptatic system is that system of drainpipes. As blood travels through your arteries and veins, water and other fluids from your blood leak through the walls of your vessels and into the surrounding tissues. This is normal. However, your body needs a different system of pipes that takes that water out so your tissues don’t swell with extra water. That’s where the lymphatics come in. Not only does it work to drain that extra leaked water, it also does its part to drain toxins from your tissues.
The Lymphatic Diet
Now that you understand how the lymphatic system works, you may see why Dr. Lemole’s first step in his diet plan is to eat foods that dilate the lymphatic system. Like the drainpipes in your house, your lymphatic system can become clogged, especially if you eat fatty foods or processed foods that are full of bad toxins for your body. To dilate the lymphatic system and clean out the clogs, you need to eat:
- Whole grains, like oatmeal or cereals that are filled with clog-cleaning fiber
- Citrus fruits, like lemons and limes
- Foods rich in bioflavonoids (like green veggies), which speed the healing of damaged lymph vessels
Also, to keep those lymphatics open, my father-in-law recommends keeping meat to a minimum, especially red meat, and sticking with lean meats and fish, which are high in omega-3s.
The second step in his plan involves using supplements that fight stress in the body. Alpha lipoic acid helps with lymphatic drainage, prevents oxidative stress, and promotes heart health. He recommends taking 600 mg daily.
Another important supplement is his plan is COQ10. This is an energizer, and stops oxidative stress. It can help ward off heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia and even gingivitis! Take 120 mg daily.
Herbs: Echinacea and Red Clover
The next step involves adding two key herbs to your diet that promote a long life. The first, echinacea, may boost your immune system and help with warding off colds. Take 500 mg three times a day for a week to ward off illnesses.
The second herb, red clover tea, has antioxidants that help to metabolize lymphatic-clogging toxins and further purify your body. It improves lymphatic drainage and kidney and liver function as well, two key organs that clear toxins from your system. Drink one cup of red clover tea a day.
Self-Massage and Arnica Gel
The final step involves a self-massage with arnica gel. It helps with sore muscles by promoting circulation, which also helps to flush out the lymphatics as well. One of the best places to massage the arnica gel is the neck. Put a little arnica gel on your fingers. Place the arnica gel on either side of your neck and rub it on the neck in a downward motion toward the upper back. Repeat this 10 times.
I hope his advice, which I feel has kept my family healthy and happy, can help you as well! Try it out!"
My Father-in-Law's Best Health Advice was written by Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD and originally published on the Doctor Oz Blog, November 19th, 2012.