Does chocolate make you happy? There may be a good reason for that (besides just deliciousness): a recent study found that certain foods have the same chemical structure as prescription mood stabilisers.
Researcher Karina Martinez-Mayorga presented her findings at the American Chemical Society. She and her team compared over 1700 food flavour ingredients with antidepressants and other drugs prescribed for depression.
Photo by Boris Bartels
It turns out chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and foods high in Omega-3s, such as salmon and nuts, are structurally similar to valproic acid, the main ingredient in several mood-stabilising drugs.
Of course, chocolate and nuts aren’t replacements for medication if you have depression, but Martinez-Mayorga says these foods, combined with healthy habits like getting sleep and exercising, could “deliver a quantifiable mood boost”. Hey, any reason to have some chocolate or another cup of tea is good for me.