Beans on toast, sausage and mash, tomato soup, chicken and mushroom pie and macaroni cheese have been named the top five comfort foods by a team of academics.
Neuropsychologists based at the University of Sussex came up with a 'Comfort Index' and examined the exact nurturing emotions set off by some foods.
Dr David Lewis, who headed the research, discovered that dishes with simple ingredients and uniform colour worked better in cheering up than complex ones such as curry or spaghetti.
“The simpler the aroma the more easily it can be interpreted and memorised, consequently the response and emotion towards it is more powerful and immediate,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Lewis as saying.
“We can see this clearly in the findings that the types of smells people find comforting are simple ones associated with home cooking,” Dr Lewis added.
The Comfort Index study was conducted by Mindlab International, at the Sussex Innovation Centre, based at the University of Sussex and was commissioned by the food company Heinz.