Is there any evidence for the theory that things taste better if they contain nutrients that the body needs?
I had a banana this morning and it tasted great. Is that why?
In principle, yes. There are a few reports in the literature demonstrating that nutritional needs affect taste responsiveness. But, probably, is not known how extensive is the change or what is the threshold in nutritional status required for the change in taste responsiveness.
Database searched: PubMed
Search terms: food taste nutritional needs
Below, I show you the titles (with links to the abstracts), and one highlighted sentence of the abstract per publication. I did not read each whole article, but these are peer-reviewed, indexed publications, meaning that independent researchers in the field evaluated the text before being approved for publication.
(In mice,) glucagon, which plays important roles in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis, enhances sweet taste responsiveness through local actions in the mouse gustatory epithelium.
Therefore, deer may be selecting minerals according to nutritional requirements.
Children's eating behaviors are driven by nutrient needs for growth and health
The animals' primary concern was energy intake and their second concern was protein nutrition, regardless of flavoring.