Heme iron comes from hemoglobin, the protein found in your red bloods cell that moves oxygen to your cells. This type of iron differs from nonheme iron because it enters your cells faster. An August 2010 National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements article states iron deficiencies can cause health problems such as lower immunity levels. Sources of heme iron range from chicken liver to tuna.

Chicken Liver

Chicken liver provides your body with heme iron. You do not need to eat a high amount of chicken liver to gain enough heme iron. An August 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) article suggests that you add 3.5 ounces per serving of chicken liver to your diet. The NIH artiicle states that chicken liver provides your body with 70% of your daily requirement of iron.


Add fresh seafood to your diet to increase your intake of heme iron. Visit the fish market and select from different seafood choices. One seafood choice is halibut, according to a June 2010 Health Library article. Use different cooking methods for your halibut such as broiling, which gives it a light aroma and firm texture. You can prepare broiled halibut as part of your lunch.

Roasted Chicken Leg

You can choose roasted chicken legs as a source of heme iron. An August 2010 Health Library article suggests eating 3.5 ounces per serving of a roasted chicken leg. Change the type of heme iron-rich foods you eat each week. Change from a roasted chicken leg to another food, such as 3.5 ounces per serving of cooked chicken liver. The cooked chicken liver does have a higher amount of iron.


A three-ounce can of white tuna in water provides heme iron, according to the August 2010 National Institutes of Health article. Learn how you can increase your dietary intake of heme iron with canned tuna, then use what you learn when planning your weekly meals. For example, lunchtime food choices can include a tuna sandwich with tomatoes and crunchy lettuce. As a light dinner meal, add canned white tuna to your plate of beans.

Other Heme Sources

You can enjoy other selected food sources of heme iron. Additional food sources of heme iron include beef chuck, clams, blue crab and shrimp. Eat the beef chuck with a plate of green vegetables. Prepare clams, blue crab or shrimp for a seafood dinner.