Nutrition and dietetics professor highlights ways to boost immune system against COVID-19 in third public health webinar

Mohanad Kafri, an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Birzeit University, has recently discussed the role of the body’s immune system in countering and protecting against the coronavirus in a webinar organized by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions on Monday, March 22, 2021. 

The session, attended by more than 50 participants, including students, university instructors and researchers, as well as members of the Palestinian community, was moderated by Safaa Muhanna, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics

In the session, Kafri focused on bolstering the ability of the immune system to ward off pathogens, such as the coronavirus, by maintaining an active lifestyle. Sports and general exercise, he noted, help boost the immune system by stimulating the production of proteins that reduce inflammation. 

Kafri also stressed the importance of following a healthy, balanced diet in building a strong immune response. He encouraged audience members to increase their intake of animal-based proteins, especially after exercise, to augment their immune systems. 

Discussing the use of supplements, Kafri warned the attendees against using vitamins or minerals to boost their immune systems, saying that this practice would eventually lead to the overall deterioration of the body’s immune response in the long run, as it was not allowed to strengthen naturally. 

This webinar is the third in a series of public lectures and talks launched by the Faculty of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions to raise awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic and global efforts to combat its spread. The series highlights various public health issues and concerns related to the pandemic and features outside experts as well as professors and instructors from the faculty’s Audiology and Speech Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Pharmacy, and Nursing departments.

Previously, webinars in the series covered the types of COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use and the differences between them as well as the Palestinian health sector’s readiness to combat the coronavirus pandemic.