Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

A Word On Yoghurt & Mental Health

Yoghurt is one of the oldest dairy treats you can have in your fridge. For most people, the pot of yoghurt is a daily occurrence that can pile up a tonne of goodness as a snack or even as a trick to thicken a soup or a sauce. 

Did you know that Mesopotamians are thought to have discovered and mastered milk fermentation around 5000 BC? That’s how old yoghurt recipes are. But, more than a healthy and yummy treat, the little pot in your fridge could become a hard-working routine for your mental health. 

It is a moment of self-care

Preparing a bowl of yoghurt, deliciously seasoned with berries, honey, or nuts – or anything else you’ve got in your kitchen – offers a mindful break. It is a unique opportunity to take the time to tune into your taste buds and listen to your body. 

More importantly, as you prepare your healthy snack, you step out of your hectic or stressful routine to focus on simple things: 

How hungry do I feel?

What kind of flavours do I want to add to my yoghurt? 

The process is straightforward, but it can help break mindless overeating habits. A yoghurt bowl becomes a self-care ritual that delivers a meditative moment. For those seeking comfort in food, the caring and purposeful approach to creating a yummy yoghurt bowl can help tackle emotional eating. 

It fuels your muscles

Maintaining an active lifestyle is beneficial to everyone. Physically, a fitness routine helps keep your body strong and healthy. At a physiological level, physical activities help support hormonal balance, mental clarity, and healthy blood and oxygen flow to your organs. Additionally, it’s fair to mention the feel-good sensation you can experience post-workout, which is linked to the increase of happy hormones. In other words, exercising boosts your mental health. 

So, where does yoghurt fit in? The dairy snack is high in proteins, which help muscle recovery. Whether you’re going for gentle workouts, or you’ve decided to follow the Chris Evans diet for Captain America, a protein-rich snack will speed up recovery. If you’ve got ambitious fitness goals, muscle recovery is crucial to your performance. At an emotional level, muscle soreness and tightness can damage your relationship to sports. In short, helping your body heal after a workout is good for the mind too. 



It takes you back to simple things

Snacks come in all shapes and flavours. But a yoghurt offers a simple taste. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a triple latte matcha brownie slice, but sometimes we need clean and fresh flavours to cleanse both our minds and palates. Sensory overload is typically caused by a hectic and busy lifestyle, and can be triggered by excessive noises, smells, or even tastes. Living a simple life can keep this unnecessary stress at bay. While it’s not saying that a plain yogurt a day will keep sensory overload away, it can certainly help you appreciate the little things in life. Less is always more, and some days your mind craves the mindfulness of single sensations. 


Making your dairy snack a helpful reminder of self-care and mindfulness is one of the most commonly overlooked benefits of yoghurt. Yet the little pot in your fridge can be a powerful mental health companion. 


A brief word for lactose-intolerant readers: There are plenty of dairy-free yoghurt brands that pack the same nutritional and emotional benefits. 


featured image: Photo by Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

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