Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer Says These Four Foods Can Improve Your Overall Health - Exclusive

We all want to eat a little healthier, right? That's easier said than done — there are dozens of "superfoods" that promise better health. However, you can't find many of these foods in your local grocery store, so often, you have to opt for dried versions of them to add to your smoothie. But nutrition expert Joy Bauer says some of the healthiest foods are those you can find in every grocery store these days.

"One food would be spinach because spinach is almost like nature's multivitamin," Bauer said during her exclusive interview with Health Digest. "When you look at the slew of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that spinach has, it's got to be in everyone's diet — has to be." The antioxidants in spinach reduce oxidative stress, and zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids that improve the health of your eyes. Spinach also has nutrients that can fight off cancer and reduce blood pressure.

In addition to this classic health food, Bauer shared with us her other nutritional favorites — plus two foods you might need to nix from your diet.

Two protein sources that improve your health

People on high-protein diets will be happy to know that two other foods that can improve your health are protein sources. "Wild salmon is the richest source of vitamin D," Joy Bauer said. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, and it might also help with your mood and support your weight-loss goals. "It's packed with protein and it has omega-3 fats, and omega-3 fats help to tame inflammation and drive down triglycerides. This is Heart Month, so it's really nice to talk about salmon."

Bauer also likes the incredible, edible egg. "It's a high-quality protein and it is packed with so many nutrients from the lutein and zeaxanthin, to vitamin D, to the biotin, to B vitamins, to choline," she explained. Your brain and nervous system need choline to regulate your cognition and mood. "Eggs are not just for breakfast. I always say, 'Winner winner, eggs for dinner!'" Bauer said.

Include heart-healthy fats, but limit these foods

Joy Bauer also likes chia seeds for their fiber, protein, and omega-3 fats. Chia seeds are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 that can help your heart pump better and reduce the risk of heart disease.

"I call them 'nutrition sprinkles' because they don't have a taste," she said. "They're flavor neutral, and you could really sprinkle them. You could put them in smoothies, you could put them in pancakes, you could add them to muffin batter, and you could even make things with them because they gel." She noted that she likes to make chia pudding by letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Bauer also told us which foods we should eliminate to improve our health. "Regular soda, without a doubt. It's like liquid candy, and it doesn't fill you up. The second food would be processed meats. Hotdogs would be way up there. It's not even a protein food; it's primarily all fat."

For more American Heart Association Heart-Check-certified egg recipes, head to The Incredible Egg. You can also find more heart-healthy food cures at Joy's website,