Marriott International’s ‘mood diets’ looks to lift lockdown gloom

It’s been more than a year that we’ve been labouring under lockdowns brought on by the pandemic. With normal life at a standstill and WFH becoming the new norm, most of us have experienced a major disruption in our schedules. Working in isolation is no easy task and with more than enough stress owing to the current situation, it’s essential to regulate our moods.

And one of the most effective ways to impact your mood is through food. With this principle guiding it, the Marriott International group has introduced the concept of ‘mood diets’ — focusing on the inherent relationship between good food and good mood, and the impact on eating habits with continued working in isolation.

The campaign is supported by Marriott On Wheels, the group’s premium food delivery service that launched in 2020. Present across 76 hotels in 26 cities, Marriott On Wheels adheres to the strictest guidelines when it comes to hygiene, and brings to diners award-winning dishes in the safety of their homes.

While eating good food can definitely have a lasting impact on your mood, eating right is also critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially relevant now.

Says Himanshu Taneja, Culinary Director, South Asia, Marriott International, “Long-term mood boosting diets are about overall health which is accomplished with a balanced diet. And as the body gets accustomed to those ingredients, they then tend to have a long-term impact on one’s moods. If you include the Mediterranean diet in your lifestyle which contains good quality fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fruits, etc. it slowly works on your body, soul, mind and after some time you develop a liking for such food. It will eventually work towards improving your mood and over all feeling of well-being. On a weekly basis, you can steer your mood out of negative sentiments with a conscious intake of food including chickpeas, sesame, nuts and seeds that are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber that are responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Or you can add a Tiramisu made with fermented coffee beans in your meal. People who eat fermented food ingredients tend to sport a more positive mind frame and outlook to life.”

Curating the menu for this venture required careful consideration and a healthy dose of food science, says Chef Taneja. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, both mentally and physically, compounded by the fact that most people were home bound, for obvious reasons. This has resulted in a distinct shift in eating and sleeping patterns for all. The prolonged work from home scenario, makes the correlation between mood and the right intake of food — specific vitamins and high-quality nutrients — come alive. In the last one year, we all had those days when we wanted to eat comfort food despite having a full meal or experienced major cravings for certain food types when we were stressed. Having studied that, we introduced specially curated ‘Mood Diet’ that not only work to improve your energy and focus but plays a vital role in satiating your cravings, boosting spirits and fulfilling the daily nutrient intake.

“Some of the mood boosting foods include fatty fish, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, berries, fermented food, etc. which can be either consumed directly or added in combination to prepare a new dish. These are high in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids and have an immediate mood boosting effect by increasing levels of serotonin in our body, which is a mood regulating hormone.”

The ’mood diets’ menu is available on the Marriott Bonvoy website for South Asia, and diners can order in directly or through food aggregator platforms.

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