It may sound dramatic, but the big difference between freshly squeezed juices and their packaged counterparts is a matter of life and death, says Nivia L. Binett-Carroll, a certified holistic health practitioner and the owner of Excel Wellness & Rehab Services Inc. in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Freshly squeezed juice is “alive” and contains active natural nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes, compared with the nutritionally “dead” pasteurized juice found on store shelves. (Pasteurization is a heating process that not only kills dangerous bacteria but also destroys much of a food’s vital nutrients.)

In addition, manufacturers add unhealthy preservatives to canned or bottled juices to extend their shelf life.

Thirsty for a drink that’s alive with flavor and nutrition? Just remember, “Anything in excess is not good for the body—even freshly squeezed, natural juices,” Binett-Carroll warns. “These must also be balanced with a diverse diet.” Anything better than freshly juiced fruits and veggies? You bet. Eating them raw.