Does Seafood Have Iron

Does Seafood Have Iron?

Iron is a vital nutrient crucial for carrying oxygen throughout the body, and it’s best obtained from food sources. Fortunately, a wide variety of foods are rich in iron, catering to even the pickiest eaters across all food groups. But what about seafood? Does seafood have iron?

Stay tuned as we explore whether seafood serves as a reliable iron source, types of seafood containing iron, as well as what is heme iron and its importance.

Does Seafood Have Iron?

Seafood does contain iron and there are different iron-rich seafood. So, if you are a seafood lover, you can get various essential nutrients from several seafood types. It is important to know that the amount of iron in seafood varies based on the seafood product itself, and the preparation method, same as with all other foods containing iron.

Dietary iron is present in two forms – heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in red meat, poultry, and fish, and it is better absorbed than non-heme iron, found in plants. Over 95% of the iron found in our bodies is in the form of heme. Therefore, heme should be considered an essential nutrient. 

Source: / Photo Contributor: Larisa Blinova

What type of seafood is high in iron? 


Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels are not only delicious but also rich in iron, making them a great choice to boost your iron levels.

How much iron is typically found in seafood like shellfish? For example, a 100-gram serving of clams may contain up to three milligrams of iron.

However, clams have the lowest iron level compared to mussels and oysters. For example, cooked mussels and oysters could contain up to 7 milligrams of iron in a 100-gram portion, which is an excellent amount for daily iron intake.


Same as shellfish, starfish, and shrimp, scallops take a good place in iron-rich foods. In 100 grams of cooked or steamed scallops, you can find about 0.58 milligrams of iron. Besides the iron content, scallops are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them a super healthy food choice.

Sardines, shrimp, and octopus

Other seafood options that are relatively high in iron include sardines, shrimp, and octopus. Sardines are known as a good iron source. A 100-gram sardine can contain around 2.9 milligrams of iron.

Shrimp also contains iron, but remember that the amount may vary based on its preparation. For example, 100 grams of cooked shrimp has around 0.5 milligrams of iron, while canned shrimp may have up to 2.1 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. However, frying may decrease the iron levels in shrimp, bringing it down to 0.3 milligrams.

Octopus is also an excellent source of iron. Raw, it may contain 5.3 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, while cooked, it can reach up to incredibly 9.5 milligrams of iron per 100 grams.

Sardines, shrimp, and octopus
Source: / Photo Contributor: Fotografiasaez

Fish like salmon and tuna

If oysters, mussels, and clams are not on your regular menu, common seafood such as salmon is also a good source of iron, containing about 0.3 milligrams in 100 grams. For better body absorption, you should also take vitamin C.

We all know that fish is a highly nutritious food. Some varieties, like tuna, are especially high in iron, whether cooked or canned. Precisely, 85 grams of canned tuna may contain around 1.4 milligrams of iron, while cooked Yellowfin tuna or Skipjack tuna ranges from 0.9 milligrams to 1.6 milligrams on 100 grams.

Recommended Iron-rich Seafood Dish 

One great seafood dish rich in iron we recommend is grilled salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and red bell peppers.

Salmon is an excellent source of iron, maintaining its natural flavor with smoky essence when grilled. Besides, it retains its nutritional benefits, making it an ideal choice for a nutrient-rich meal.

For enhanced iron absorption, pairing it with roasted Brussels sprouts and red bell peppers, abundant in vitamin C is highly recommended.

Brussels sprouts have iron and vitamin C. Red bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin C. While roasted Brussels sprouts get a nutty flavor, roasted red bell peppers increase the sweetness.

We advise you to marinate the salmon in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper for better taste.

Iron-rich Seafood Dish
Source: / Photo Contributor: Timolina


So, does seafood have iron? Yes, seafood is rich in iron, especially certain seafood types, like shellfish (clams, oysters, and mussels), sardines, shrimp, octopus, and salmon.

Remember that the amount of iron you receive varies based on the size and preparation method. Also, it is good to combine seafood with vegetables containing vitamin C for better iron absorption.