With the holidays comes flu season. Because of this, the foods you choose this month can make or break your merrymaking. See, what you eat can impact your immune system health dramatically. As you'll soon discover, how you feast this holiday may determine whether you spend a week on the couch fighting the flu... or celebrating. But don't worry -we've got you covered. By getting extra helpings of the 5 immune-supporting foods I mention here, you'll be giving your immune system the nutrition it needs to do its job right. If you feast right this winter, you'll keep your defenses strong. But before we get into the stellar immune foods you load your plate up with, let's start with something you should go light on... Sugar: The Immune-Busting Food You Don't Want Too Much Of It's kind of a double whammy... Just when the threat of getting sick is at its highest, we get hit with a festive parade of holiday sweets. Why is this a problem? Sugar drops your immune system down to all-time lows. It only takes about 75 grams of sugar (about two cans of soda's worth) to decrease your white blood cells' ability to attack and destroy invading bacteria. And even worse, these immune-busting effects last for several hours after you eat the sugar. So perhaps a modest holiday treat here or there is okay. But beware... if you don't exercise some caution with this dangerous sweet stuff, you might find yourself in bed with the flu, unable to enjoy the holidays at all. Okay, enough said about the bad stuff. Let's move onto the good stuff, starting with... Private Label Capsules Immune-Boosting Food #1: Cranberries While we usually associate these cheery berries with fighting urinary tract infections, they also have a mounting pile of evidence behind their immune boosting power. Research conducted at the University of Florida at Gainesville Food and Nutrition Institute showed that after just 8 weeks of eating them regularly, these bright little fruits enhanced immune cells and primed them to be ready to defend you.  Cranberries as sauce, juice or even dried can all give you some of cranberry's immune boosting help. But for best effects, look for recipes with minimal refined sugar, sweetened with other fruits or fruit juices instead. Immune-Boosting Food #2: Squash Just the sight of squash's bright orange and yellows is enough to make you feel better. But it's not just their looks. Squash is high in beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a key role in helping your immune system cells differentiate. In other words, it helps your immune cells develop expert specializations so they can protect you better. Do you love squash's nutty sweetness so much you could you eat squash all winter long - not just over the holidays? You're in luck! Apparently the beta carotene supplies in squash increase over time as they sit in storage. So save a few for a post-holiday immune fortification feast. Immune-Boosting Food #3: Garlic What feast is complete without a liberal dose of garlic? And certainly, this spicy bulb is an immune powerhouse. When volunteers took a garlic supplement daily for 3 months, they experienced significantly fewer colds and spent significantly less time being sick than the placebo group. There's a trick to using garlic to stay healthy, however. Garlic is really only effective when its unique sulfur compound, called allicin, starts to decompose. To get the decomposed allicin in your system, make sure you chop up your garlic and then wait for 10 minutes before cooking with it or mixing it with acids. This way you can be sure to get garlic's full fortifying effects.