Category Archives: Stir-Fry Vegetables / Subjis

Bitter melon karela fritters

Karela- Bitter melon is a vegetable one should know for sure.
you will love it or hate it. Relationship with this unique vegetable is either or.  Karela is widely known in India and China. This is a fruit of a subtropical vine in India, it looks like Zucchini with bumps. It is very bitter in taste and with proper preparation one can love to acquire the taste of it. Most of the time it is thinly sliced and fried with some spices to it. It is amazing to know the fruit contains a polypeptide called gurmarin that suppresses the body’s neural response to sweet stimulant.  that means after consuming karela sweet buds can be satisfied very easily in one helping of dessert. As i grew up in India, we tend to use each and every part of vegetable. I am sharing a good old  recipe which I learnt from my  mother.  I hope you will enjoy it!!

Serves four
Preparation time 45 Minutes
Cooking level: Medium

6 Bitter melon  washed and dried
Peel the skin of the bitter melon  at least one and 1/2 cup
Ginger and chilli paste
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/4 tsp red chilli
1 tsp each coriander and cumin powder
2 tbsp of whole wheat flour 
3 tbsp of besan or chickpea flour
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp oil to add
3-4 tbsp of oil to fry
salt to taste
How to make:
Peel the skin of the bitter melon
Add salt to peeled skin of the bitter melon. set aside for half an hour.
Squeeze excess water out of peeled skin of bitter melon
Now add all the spices, wheat flour, besan flour,sugar,  lemon juice and one tsp of oil to the peeled skin of bitter melon.
Mix well making a  dough and later oblong shape called muthia as shown in the picture below. 
In a medium saucepan pan,  heat the oil on a medium high heat.
Fry all the muthias slowly stirring upside down.
Enjoy it with chutneys or sauces. 
Tips:  Taking the water out of bitter melon peels reduces its bitterness.
Always serve warm ,when it is warm it has more flavor and less bitter in taste.

Peeling Procedure
Bitter Melon


Bitter Melon Fritters

Raw Green Tomatoes Subji or Pickle

Autumn is Here!!  My vegetable garden is almost done for the season:(
If you are left with plenty of raw green tomatoes or If you love green tomatoes!! Here is the recipe with raw green tomatoes.

Cooking Level: Very easy
Preparation Time: Five minutes

Green Tomatoes 

Cooking Time: Ten minutes


4 medium size raw green tomatoes
1 Tsp of Sesame seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Brown sugar or Jaggery/Molasses
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp each Coriander & Cumin powder 
1 tsp oil

Salt to taste


  1. Microwave diced tomatoes in microwave oven for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the oil on a medium high heat.
  3. Add mustard and sesame seeds. Add jaggery/molasses or brown sugar and stir until sugar turns brown in color.
  4. Add salt ,coriander, cumin powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes till it mixes well.
  6. You can note that it will change color to golden yellow.and now its ready to serve. Tomato subji can be stored as pickle for a week in a  refrigerator.    Also, you can make green tomatoes Enchilada sauce aka Verde sauce. Salsa or  fried tomatoes. Enjoy!!
 Did you know!!  green tomatoes are Very low in saturated fat,  No cholesterol,  High in dietary fiber,  High in iron,  High in manganese,  High in magnesium, High in niacin, Very high in pantothenic acid, High in phosphorus, Very high in potassium,  High in thiamin, Very high in vitamin A, High in vitamin B6, Very high in vitamin C. 

Red bell pepper

Autumn is here!!  I love to see fall colors all over my neighborhood.  I love going to farmers market this time of year. I love picking up a basket full of red,green and yellow peppers which which range from hot to very hot to taste.Bell peppers are very versatile and can be used in different ways.  Here is  a quick very easy recipe. If you want treat for your taste buds with peppers. 
Preparation Time: 5 minutes.

Cooking Level :  Very Easy


Red bell pepper

AO = Antioxidant

DF = Dairy Free

GF = Gluten Free

HF = High Fiber

HP = High Protein

J = Jain

LS = Low Sugar
V= Vegan

2 Red bell pepper chopped without the core
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Ajwain seeds or Thyme optional
1 tsp  Oil of your choice
1 tsp dry mango powder aka Amchur Powder or lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste
1. In a wok add oil on medium heat.
2. Add bell peppers and stir fry
3. Add all the spices.
3.Let it sizzle for two minutes ,cover and turn off the heat.

Ready to serve with Roti,  rice or use it as condiment. Other favourite recipes are Tomato and red bell Pepper soupThai curry, and Vegetable lasagna. Red bell pepper has a unique flavor and sweetness. One can use any pepper but the red one has a unique taste to it. Enjoy!!

Ridge gourd -Turia with split mung Dal

This a basic easy recipe for the healthy meal. It is easy and quick and fulfilling.


3-4  cups of washed,cubed turia or ridge gourd,
 1 cup split moong dal aka green gram washed and soaked  for two hours  
1 tsp lemon juice or you may use diced tomatoes
2 tbsp ground coriander (dhaniya powder) and cumin (Jeera) powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper 
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp fresh cut ground ginger
1 tsp green chili diced or paste or Cayenne pepper
salt to taste

In a saucepan on medium heat add oil. 
Add cut turia and saute for two minutes.
Add soaked mung dal and stir.
Once it starts sizzling add all the spices (except lemon juice or tomatoes) and half a cup of water.
Mix it well. cover and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
Stir occasionally.
Check to see if dal is cooked  by pressing a kernel between your thumb and forefingers.Once it is cooked dal will change color.
 Add lemon juice or cut tomatoes.

Tips: this recipe can be done as a semi liquid by adding a little more than 1/2 cup water and cook for 3-4 minutes more.

Enjoy with indian bread ( roti), Pita Bread, Tortilla, and rice.

Prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time:  10-12 minutes
Serves:  3-4
Level: very easy recipe
Recipe type: AO = Anti-Oxidant ,
 DF = Dairy Free
,GF = Gluten Free,
HF = High Fiber,
 HP = High Protein,
 J = Jain,
 LS = Low Sugar
 V = Vegan

Stuffed Eggplant and Potatoes

Prep time:      10 minutes                                                                                          

Eggplant and potatoes

Cook time:   15 minutes

Serves:  3-5
Level: very easy recipe
Recipe type:
 AO = Anti-Oxidant ,
 DF = Dairy Free
,GF = Gluten Free
,HF = High Fiber, 
 LS = Low Sugar,
 V = Vegan

6 small potatoes washed
6 small eggplant washed
3Tbsp besan or chick pea flour
4 Tbsp crushed peanuts powder
salt to taste 
2tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
2tsp coriander and cumin powder each
1tsp ginger and green chili paste
4 Tbsp of oil

  1. This recipe involves plenty of planning and it requires bite size potatoes and eggplant.
  2. Indian grocery stores carry almost all the ingredients. Local grocers has big eggplants and potatoes which can be cut to the desired size. Fresh ingredients and fresh vegetables are healthier and taste better than frozen or processed ingredients – keep that in mind when you’re shopping
  3. Make a slit on potatoes and eggplant on both ends so the spice mixture can be placed in them.
  4. Fry besan in a pan with  one tbsp of oil on low heat for a couple of minutes until it changes color 
  5. Mix all the ingredients and fill in the slits in eggplant and potatoes.
  6. In a pressure cooker add oil, eggplant, and potatoes.
  7. Sprinkle a little water on top so the vegetables stay little moist.
  8. Make three whistle if you’re using an Indian cooker otherwise 10-15 minutes on the stove top or a regular cooker. 
  9. Once cooker is cooled down insert a knife to check that the potatoes are cooked properly.
  10. Take it out in a serving container and garnish with shredded coconut and cilantro.
  11. Enjoy with your favorite bread and rice.
Pressure Cooker

Stuffed Okra

Okra is widely available all over the world. There are numerous ways one can make okra subji. One of my favorite ways is stuffed okra with a special blend of spices and ground peanuts. Okra lovers will definitely enjoy this recipe. It takes a little bit of time but it is well worth it.

Recipe Type: Jain, Vegan, Gluten Free and full of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Cooking Time:  35 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy to make if you cook regularly.

2 lbs. Okra, washed and dried with a paper towel.  Cut both ends off and make a slit in the middle.


2    Lbs. Okra
Salt to taste
1/4 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
2    TBsp Cumin and coriander powder, little more than usual
3    TBsp Ground Peanut Powder
1    Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
1    Tsp Fresh Grated Green Chili
1    TBsp Besan or Chick Pea Flour
2    TBsp Coconut flakes, optional to garnish
Chopped Cilantro to garnish
3    TBsp Oil

How to Prepare:

  1. Mix all the spices and fill in the slit of okra. Set aside.
  2. On medium heat in a wok add oil.
  3. Add stuffed okra and let it sizzle. Use wooden spatula to stir occasionally.
  4. Mix it gently covering oil.  Let it sizzle for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer it to a glass pan or corning ware. Cover with saran wrap.
  6. Microwave it for 3-4 minutes. Check that okra is tender and done.
  7. If it is not done, microwave again for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and coconut flakes.
  9. Serve with warm roti.
  10. Enjoy!!!
Serving Size is 1/10 of Recipe.

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I am very proud of the Kiva Organization.  I have been a member now for 4 years.  Kiva helps by providing loans for those in need who repay the money over a period of time. When you become a member, you fund a loan for someone who uses it to improve their situation and you are given progress updates over the life of the loan. As the famous expression says: If you give a man a fish he can eat for only one day, but if you teach him how to fish, he will eat for his whole life.  I strongly believe in giving a hand or helping people to be self-sufficient rather than just giving to charity.  Self respect and pride for one to be able to provide for themselves is far more important than giving a handout.
This recipe will be something new to my readers in learning how the other side of the world eats and how we take food for granted in this country. I wish that one day everyone in this world will be as lucky as we are today with our abundance of food and that no one will go hungry.

Through the Kiva Organization, I help the woman in the photo at the top, Esi Ekumanba, who lives in Ghana.  She lives in the village of Krofofordo with her five children.  She sells “Kenkey.”  Kenkey is make from ground corn (maize).  This is how she makes it:
  1. Let the maize ferment before cooking.
  2. Partially cook the maize in a large pot.
  3. During the process of cooking, stir continuously with a large wooden ladle to achieve a solid paste and smooth consistency. The half-cooked dough is then left to cool for some time. 
  4. It is then wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. 
  5. Fante kenkey can be eaten with fried fish and hot pepper sauce.

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Health Benefits of Maize/Corn

    Health benefits of corn include controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailments, lowering hypertension and prevention of neural-tube defects at birth. Corn or maize is one of the most popular cereals in the world and forms the staple food in many countries including USA, Africa etc. It not only provides the necessary calories for daily metabolism, but is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fibre content ensures that it plays a role in prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and haemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-cancer agents and prevent Alzheimer’s.

    • Rich Source of Calories: Corn is a rich source of calories and forms a part of the staple diet among many populations. The calorific content of corn is 342 calories per 100grams, among the highest in cereals.
    • Prevention of Haemorrhoids and Colorectal Cancer: The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer.
    • Rich Source of Vitamins: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin.Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra; a disease characterised by diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis and is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid which is a vitamin necessary for carbohydrate as well as protein and lipid metabolism in the body. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women leads to birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects at birth. Corn provides a large chunk of the daily folate requirement. Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene which forms vitamin A in the body, essential for maintenance of good vision and skin. The kernels of corn are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant essential for growth.
    • Provides Necessary Minerals: Corn contains abundant phosphorus apart from magnesium,manganesezinciron and copper. It also contains trace minerals like selenium. Phosphorus is essential for maintenance of normal growth, bone health and normal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining normal heart rate and for bone strength.
    • Antioxidant Properties of Corn: According to studies carried out at Cornell University, corn is a rich source of antioxidants which fight the cancer causing free radicals. In fact, cooking increases the antioxidants in sweet corn. Corn is a rich source of a phenolic compound ferulic acid, an anti-cancer agent which has been shown to be effective in fighting tumours in breast cancer and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn also act as scavengers of cancer-causing free radicals.
    • Cardio-Protective Attributes: According to researchers, corn oil has been shown to anti-atherogenic effect on the cholesterol levels, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
    • Prevents Anaemia: The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn prevent anaemia caused by the deficiency of these vitamins.
    • Lowering LDL Cholesterol: According to Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, consumption of corn husk oil lowers plasma LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body.
    • Protection against Diabetes and Hypertension: Consumption of corn kernels assists the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is effective against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn.
    • Cosmetic Benefits: Corn starch is used in the manufacture of many cosmetics and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritations. Corn products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which form major components of cosmetic preparations.

    Methi & Aloo Subji

    Methi & Aloo Subji
    One of my favorite vegetable dishes is Aloo & Methi which means Potato with Fenugreek Leaves. The leaves are grown from fenugreek seeds and are a little bitter in taste but very healthy for you. They are full of antioxidants and rich in minerals. I like to prepare this dish because it is very easy, tasty and good for your health.  It is also very quick and fun to eat with Paratha, an Indian leaven bread or roti.

    Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
    Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
    Serves: 4
    Recipe Type: Vegan, Antioxidant, Gluten Free

    Fresh Methi Leaves


    1    Small Tomatoes, cubed
    2    Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed = almost 2 cups
    (Keep cubed potatoes immersed in water until ready to cook.)
    2    Bunches Methi leaves, washed and plucked = almost 2 cups
    (Methi leaves are available frozen in Indian stores.)
    1    Tsp Salt
    2    TBsp Oil
    1/4 Tsp Turmeric
    1/2 Tsp Chilli powder (more or less according to taste)
    2    Tsp Coriander & Cumin Powder


    1. In a skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.
    2. Add fenugreek leaves and drained potatoes.  They will start to sizzle.
    3. With a spatula, stir methi & potatoes. 
    4. Add all the spices. 
    5. Stir again and cover with the lid.
    6. Lower the heat.
    7. After a few minutes, you will see that the potatoes are cooked. Check by cutting into pieces: if it is easily to do, it is ready. 
    8. Add tomatoes and stir. 
    9. Serve with chapatis or ready made whole wheat tortillas.When you serve whole wheat tortillas, warm them on a grill on medium heat. Apply butter and serve warm. It is also great when served with warm roti. Check website or video for Roti Recipe.


    Nutrition Facts per Serving

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    Health Benefits of Fenugreek Leaves

    Home Remedy for Balancing Cholesterol

    Studies have found people who took 2 ounces (56g) of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of seeds throughout the day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form. 

    Treating Diabetes and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

    Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek. Therefore, a recommended home remedy for treating Type 2 diabetes is to consume 500mg of fenugreek twice daily. 

    Herbal Cure for Skin Inflammation

    Research has shown that Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, and gout. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is the following:
    • Take a spoonful of fenugreek and grind it into a powder.
    • Mix the ground powder with warm water.
    • Take a simple piece of clean cloth and soak it into the mixture.
    • Apply the soaked cloth directly onto the affected skin as a poultice.

    Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

    Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine. Therefore, for an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of seeds and swallow them with water or juice before any meal. 

    Home Remedy for Fever

    The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness. Therefore, to treat a fever, simply consume one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds three times a day along with an herbal tea (such as green tea) with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Some health food stores also sell herbal Fenugreek teas, which can be used instead of the green tea. 

    Opo Squash with Bengal Gram Dal

    Opo Squash with Bengal Gram Dal

    Opo Squash is famously known as Lauki or Dudhi. Bengal Gram Dal is known as Channa Dal. This vegetable subji is often cooked at my home for dinner. In Ayurveda, Opo Squash is at the top of the list of vegetables for our body’s health. As you know, Bengal Gram Dal is also highly recommended to be used as a sugar stabilizer. Here is a quick recipe that is Jain, Vegan, and low in sugar.

    Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
    Recipe Type: Jain, Vegan, Low Sugar

    Bengal Gram Dal


    1    Opo Squash, peeled and cut into cubes = almost two cups
    1    Cup Bengal Gram Dal, washed & soaked for 2 hours
    1    Medium Tomato, chopped
    1    Green Chili
    1    Tsp Grated Ginger
    Curry Leaves (optional)
    Cilantro, chopped for garnish
    Salt to taste
    2    TBsp Oil
    1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
    1    Tsp Coriander Powder
    1    Tsp Cumin Powder
    2-3 Small Cinnamon Sticks
    2-3 Cloves
    1/4 Tsp Mustard Seeds
    1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds
    1/4 Tsp Sugar
    1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice


    1. In a pan on medium, heat the oil.
    2. Add cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
    3. Once they start popping, add cut Opo Squash and Bengal Dal.
    4. Add 1 cup of water to cook and bring to a boil.
    5. Once it starts bubbling, add all of the spices and stir.
    6. Cover and reduce the heat.
    7. It will take almost 5-7 minutes to cook. 
    8. Occasionally stir and cover so that the steam helps it cook.
    9. Check with your fingers by taking out few begal gram dal and pinching them to see if they are cooked.
    10. Opo squash should change color as it cooks.


    • Garnish with chopped cilantro. 
    • Serve with rice and Chappati.
    • Gujarati Kadhi made with buttermilk can be served with this as it compliments the gram dal very well.
    Serving is 1/6 of Recipe.

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    The Health Benefits of Squash
    The winter squash group includes pumpkin, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Winter squash, like other richly colored vegetables, provide an excellent source of carotenes.  Generally, the richer the color, the richer the concentration.  They also offer a very good source of vitamins B1 and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium. Winter squash are also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin.
    Studies have shown that, due to their carotene properties, winter squash exert a protective effect against many cancers, particularly lung cancer.  Diets that are rich in carotenes (especially pumpkins) offer protection against cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that pumpkin seeds are helpful in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
    Since summer squash have a high water content, they are not as nutrient-dense as the winter varieties.  Summer squash still provide several nutritional benefits.  They are low in calories and provide a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, and carotenes.     
    Studies have shown that juice made from summer squash is equal to juice made from pumpkins, leeks, and radishes in their ability to prevent cell mutations.  Summersquash are especially beneficial during the summer months due to their higher water content. They protect against dehydration and the carotenes help to protect against the damaging effects of the sun.  

    Masala Chickpeas- Chole

    Masala chickpeas

    Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
    Serves: 4
    Recipe Type: Gluten Free, Vegan, Anti-Oxidants


    1    Can Chickpeas
    1    Medium Onions, minced
    1    Medium Tomatoes, chopped
    Green Chili
    Salt to taste
    Ginger to taste
    Garlic to taste
    1    Tbsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
    2    Tsp Oil
    1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
    1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
    1    Tsp Anardana or Pomegranate Seed Powder optional


    1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan.  
    2. Add onions, garlic and ginger and sauté them for a few minutes.
    3. Add tomatoes and the rest of the spices.
    4. Wash chick peas thoroughly and add to the spices.
    5. Let it simmer for few minutes.
    6. Garnish with cilantro, green chili and onion rinds.


    • Chole goes very well with rice, bread and specially with Naan.
    • If I use a can of Chickpeas, I wash the Chickpeas thoroughly. Boil Chickpeas in a separate pan with water and one tea bag for 4-5 minutes.  This makes the Chickpeas very tasty.
    • If I have more time I soak dried Chickpeas and Channa Dal for 2-3 hours, add a tea bag and pressure cook the Chickpeas.
    • Black-eyed Beans can be used with the same ingredients in a similar manner.
    • This is famous in Samosa Chaat and Chutneys.
    • One of my favorite North Indian foods. I love it.

    Approximately half a single serving size.

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    Health Benefits of Chickpeas


    Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) provide an excellent source of molybdenum.  They are a very good source of folic acid, fiber, and manganese. They are also a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. As a good source of fiber, garbanzo beans can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels.  This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains, garbanzo beans are an extremely-low-fat, complete protein food.  

    Garbanzo beans contain molybdenum which is a trace mineral that is needed for the body’s mechanism to detoxify sulfites. Sulfites are a preservative commonly found in wine, luncheon meats, and fresh salad in most salad bars. Sulfite-sensitive individuals who are deficient in molybdenum may experience headaches, a racing heartbeat, or confusion.  

    Caution:  Garbanzo beans can cause a severe allergic reaction in those who are sensitive to them.  They contain purines which can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. Excess accumulation of uric acid may contribute to health problems, such as gout and kidney stones. Garbanzo beans also contain large amounts of oxalate. Individuals who have a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid over consuming them.