Are you a bodybuilder who scoffs at the thought of giving up your beloved protein for some boring carrots? Big mistake! You need your veggies if you want to reach your full bodybuilding potential.

Lauded by health experts, doctors and your mom (remember “You’re not getting any dessert until you eat all your broccoli”?), vegetables don’t have a sexy rep, but their therapeutic and healing properties are essential to keeping you as healthy as possible for maximum gym efforts. And a bodybuilder in optimal health will make gains faster than one who isn’t. So ignore vegetables at your muscle-gaining peril. From fighting disease to revealing your washboard abs, there are so many reasons to spend more time in the produce aisle that we could fill an entire issue.

These are the most important reasons to say, “More, please,” when it comes to vegetables.