When you think of gaining strength, you might not think of greens. Most would think of eggs, chicken, supplements and protein shakes, right? Well let’s think of it this way – gorillas are one of strongest mammals on the planet, yet their diet mostly 97% plant-based. Kinda cool, right? There’s a long list of supreme athletes who have taken a plant-based path from Mike Tyson to Joe Namath. Proof that protein is found beyond the fish and chicken on your grocery list. Speaking of grocery list, here is a list of greens that should always be in your cart to make you stronger:

Spinach

Spinach is a rich source of glutamine which is an amino acid that helps to boost muscle strength, size or even your metabolic rate. Spinach also helps your muscles absorb all those proteins. Add spinach to your chicken or even cook up a handful in a little pan with some olive oil and add some veggies.

Kale

Some might not think that kale is the most delicious green, but it definitely has its benefits. The healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids keep your body strong. You see the benefits, but still not convinced on the taste? Cover it up by adding it to  your morning smoothie to keep all the goodness.

Avocado

In my opinion, if you don’t already eat avocado out of the rind with a little hot sauce, you haven’t lived life. But some people aren’t fans of the taste or texture. However, avocados are a great “good fat” that also helps to keep you full during the day. All those healthy fats help to lower cholesterol and promote boosts in testosterone and growth hormone production. Plus, it contains calcium and magnesium, which play super important roles in regulating muscle function. People aren’t lying when they say avocado is a superfood. Cut it up to put on salads and wraps, or eat it straight from the skin.

Broccoli

If you only see broccoli as a side option not to choose at restaurants, you need to switch up your game. Broccoli is full of potassium and folate and it also gives you a truckload of vitamins A, C and B6. Also steam up some of these bad boys to reduce fat gain and water retention – get those muscles showin.

Asparagus

Yes, it looks weird and makes your pee smell funky. However, it’s also a muscle mass building vegetable – true story. It packs about half its calories from protein. Add it as a side a few times a week or steam it up and eat it alone.

Post written for Cliff Original by Shannon Blair.