What are the best ways to detox your body? 

What kind of toxins can we encounter in nature and in the human body? Which ones tend to accumulate in our bodies more, and—most importantly—how do we ensure we can wash them out and stay healthy?

We often hear and read a lot about toxins. We might know that they are bad for us, that our bodies accumulate them over time, and that we can implement lifestyle changes or undergo interventions to eliminate them.  

However, the reality is more nuanced than that. Small amounts of toxins can have positive effects on the body, and even scientific literature doesn’t have a unique definition of them. Their effects on different organisms can also be quite diverse, and toxins that are poisonous to human bodies are not for other animals. 

So, what kind of toxins can we encounter in nature and in the human body? Which ones tend to accumulate in our bodies more, and—most importantly—how do we ensure we can wash them out and stay healthy? 

Chenot Diet

Toxins in nature 

Natural toxins are poisonous substances produced by the metabolic activities of cells and organisms. They can be found in almost every organism, from fungi to mammals, from bacteria to birds.  

We normally refer to toxins as those substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous (toxic) to humans, although, in nature, they have different evolutionary adaptations and different effects on distinct species. 

An important distinction to be made is between toxins (and poisons) and venoms. Toxins are typically ingested or produced by an organism. They may be collected in specialized structures or places in the body, but do not have mechanisms of delivery like venoms.  Venoms, on the contrary, are produced in specialized structures and are delivered through devices like vipers’ fangs and wasps’ stings. If venom has evolved to be used in attacks, toxins are not that effective because they need to be absorbed differently by the victim and do not have the same effects in paralysing or immobilising prey. 


Toxins in humans 

Toxins that cause problems to humans come mostly from germs such as bacteria. For example, the symptoms of cholera are caused by a toxin made by cholera bacteria. Other toxins that may cause problems include metals, such as lead, and certain chemicals in the environment. 

Medicines that are helpful in small doses can also be toxic or poisonous in large amounts, as can metals, such as lead, and certain chemicals found in the environment. Chemicals can be found almost everywhere: in our air, food, household products, pesticides, herbicides, and smoke. We also know that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have related to several diseases.  

Research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US shows that every person in the US has some chemicals in their bodies, including newborns. But toxins can also be byproducts of our own organism, like CO2 or Bilirubin a yellowish substance arising from the destruction of aged or abnormal red blood cells which is eventually excreted from the body. 

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Natural ways to get rid of toxins 

Luckily, our bodies have built-in ways to remove toxins. The detoxification processes happen mostly in the liver (which converts toxins into waste products), the kidneys (which filter toxins from our blood to urine), and the lungs (which remove gases, including CO2).  

The skin can also reduce the penetration of toxic substances and eliminate toxins through sweat, whereas the digestive system s can eliminate toxic food and waste in separate ways, ordinarily in faeces, but also—in extreme situations—through vomiting and diarrhoea. Finally, lymph nodes and blood vessels can also get rid of some toxins: the former filters lymph to identify and fight infection, and the latter transports waste products to various places to be discarded. 

Several tests can also detect toxins in hair, blood, and urine. But these are usually performed when people are exposed to chemicals, and experts do not recommend routine testing otherwise. 

Finally, when it comes to suggesting the best ways to get rid of toxins, there are different recommendations that can either reduce the amount of toxins we are exposed to or other ways to support the body’s natural processes of removing them. 


Positive lifestyle changes 

As there are numerous ways to support the body’s natural detoxification processes, a good rule of thumb when implementing lifestyle changes is not to go to the extremes but to proceed gradually. 

  1. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is one of the best ways to sweat out toxins, improve brain health, manage weight, and reduce the risk of diseases. Research has found that low-intensity aerobic training is more effective than high-intensity exercise in improving mitochondrial health, the health status of mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of our cells.
  1. Eat healthy food and focus on healthy nutrition and food preparation. We hear this often, but what does it mean in practical recommendations?
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, local, seasonal produce. 
  • Eat smaller fish, as bigger ones could contain more heavy metals in their bodies. The SMASH acronym can be a useful reminder for friendly salmon, mackeral, anchovies, sardines, and herring. 
  • Avoid processed food whenever possible or food that may contain pesticides, artificial ingredients, or food dyes.


2. Use reusable glass or steel containers and glass bottles for water (instead of plastic bottles).  

3. Beware of canned food and read the labels, as some canned food can contain BPA, bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1950s. 

4. Avoid the use of aluminium foil and pans when cooking. 

5. If you are fasting or following fast-mimicking interventions, seek the support of a specialist, and do not do it for too long. Being constantly hungry can be stressful, if you have medical conditions, always speak with your doctor. 

6. Ensure adequate hydration with water and reduce your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. 

7. Do not store food or microwave it in plastic containers. 

8. Pay attention to the ingredients used in your household cleaning products, makeup, personal care, and sun protection products

9. Take time to rest, relax, and improve your quality of sleep. Rest and recovery, and relaxation in general, can also improve our bodies’ healing mechanisms.

Of course, being mindful of the potential chemicals you can come in contact with and not overwhelming your system and organs with processed food and trans-saturated fat is good advice to support your body’s natural detoxification processes. However, we all know that life is not always going in a straight line, and we can’t be perfect all the time. 

Therefore, if you feel you need an intervention or want to reboot your system and recharge your energy levels, at Chenot we provide the perfect, controlled environment for that. Read more to find out about our Advanced Detox Programme and how our Chenot Diet is structured around the concept of autophagy and ketogenesis.