If you’re serious about your workout programme then you’re probably also serious about the diet that goes with it. You know, the one that tells you to eat a lot of protein to support your muscle recovery and encourage muscle growth. Yet many fitness fans don’t enjoy eating huge steaks or stacks of grilled chicken breasts.

Here’s the good news. There are a number of vegetables that actually boast a reasonably high content of this muscle-building food group. Take a look.

1. Soybeans

A cup of cooked soybeans yields 28 grams of protein – almost as much as you’ll get from 150 grams of chicken. And best of all, the proteins in soybeans are complete, meaning that they contain all nine of the essential amino acids.

2. Lentils

A cup of cooked lentils yield 18 grams of protein (the equivalent of about 70 grams of chicken). They’re easily tossed into salads, soups or stir fries. Plus, they’re inexpensive.

3. Beans

Pick your favourite: lima beans, white beans, fava beans, kidney beans… They contain anywhere between 14 and 17 grams of protein per cup. As with lentils, beans mix well into salads and stir fries, adding protein (as well as fibre, vitamins and nutrients).

4. Nuts and seeds

You get about 30 grams of protein per 100g of nuts/seeds (though this varies a little, depending on the nut or seed in question). Shannon Clark recommends almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews and peanuts.

5. Green peas

A cup of cooked peas will give you almost 8 grams of this muscle-building nutritent. Which means that peas aren’t just a kid-friendly finger food; they’re a great addition to your healthy curry or your salad.

6. Quinoa

This grain is aptly referred to as a superfood since it’s a plant-based . A one-cup serving will yield about 8 grams of protein.

You can enjoy meat-free meals without sacrificing your meal programme!

If you’re interested in learning more tips about how to get the most out of your diet and so improve your workout routine, sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course where you’ll get clued up on everything nutrition wise. Follow this link to find out more.