While most fitness-minded guys obsess about protein, we ignore fiber—at our peril. Eating enough roughage is incredibly important. There is little to debate about that, despite what the hardcore carnivore crowd will tell you.

In a recent and comprehensive Lancet study of previous research, investigators from New Zealand determined that if 1,000 people transitioned from a low-fiber diet (under 15 grams per day) to a diet with higher amounts (25 to 29 grams per day), it would prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease in that group of individuals. A new systematic review study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition that included a total sample size of more than 350,000 subjects found that higher consumption of total dietary fiber slashed the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and cancer-related mortality by more than 20%.

Its impact on longevity might be multi-pronged including improving cholesterol numbers, reducing insulin resistance, lowering inflammation, and giving our microbiome a boost.  Research tells us that beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome get more abundant and stronger when we feed them fiber. And when the micro-critters feast on it they produce compounds like short-chain fatty acids that can go on to improve certain health measures including immunity and cognitive functioning.

It’s also important to remember that by adding more roughage to your diet it’s very likely you’ll also be adding a lot of extra nutrition to your day. That’s because most high-fiber foods like vegetables are also nutrient-dense.

But here’s the kicker: A whopping 95 percent of Americans aren’t getting the amount they need, according to a study from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The Institutes of Medicine says our requirements are at least 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams for men. It’s lucky if most people get 15 grams a day. So, we need to look for ways to sneak more into our daily menu.

Luckily, you don’t have to eat like a gopher or spike your protein shakes with Metamucil to get the amount you need. All you need to do is to follow these 10 easy ways to get fiber into your diet!

Two Different Types of Dietary Fiber

There are two main types of dietary fiber that you should be aware of, both with distinct roles in the body.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that absorbs water, forming a gel in the digestive tract and making stools easier to, well, push out. Because of its ability to absorb water and swell up, it helps slow down digestion leading to improved blood sugar numbers and increased feelings of fullness which can play an important role in body weight management. The viscous soluble fiber may also improve your cholesterol numbers by acting like a sponge that binds to cholesterol and fat in your food, carrying them out of your body through your stools. Legumes, some whole grains (oats, barley), fruits and seeds are reliable sources of soluble fiber.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is just what it sounds like—a type of roughage that will not absorb water. Instead, it adds bulk to the stool and draws water to the colon, making stools soft and easy to pass. That means it promotes bowel health and regularity. Whole grains, nuts, vegetables and some fruits (those that you eat the skin like apples and pears) are where you’ll find good amounts of insoluble fiber.

So, if you eat a good mix of plant-based foods there is a good chance you’ll nail your need for both soluble and insoluble.

10 Easy Ways To Eat More Fiber