It has long been common knowledge that certain foods have mood-enhancing effects because of the properties they possess. However, it is now claimed that flavours may also have the same effect. A new study has found that particular flavours bear a chemical resemblance to valproic acid, which is widely used mood-stabilising drug. Explaining the motivation behind the research, Dr Karina Martinez-Mayorga, leader of the team, stated: "The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food." The study focussed on more than 1,700 substances in common foods in an attempt to find chemical compounds to moderate mood swings, improve cognitive health and enhance mental alertness. This will prove key in allowing scientists to develop new treatment pathways for mental illness and establish more preventative measures for those that experience stress and anxiety. Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.