For a healthy heart, eat tofu daily as eating food that contains higher amounts of isoflavones is linked to a moderately lower risk of a heart condition.
Isoflavones are a kind of polyphenol found in legumes, including soybeans, chickpeas, fava beans, pistachios, peanuts, and other fruits and nuts.
Soybeans are the richest source of isoflavones, and soy foods and ingredients contain varying concentrations of isoflavones.
After eliminating a variety of other factors known to extend heart risk, the researchers found that consuming tofu, which is high in isoflavones, more than once every week was related to an 18 per cent lower risk of heart condition, compared to a 12 per cent lower risk for those that ate tofu but once a month.
Published in the journal Circulation, the study from Harvard school of medicine and Brigham and Women's Hospital analysed data from some 200,000 people that participated in three prospective health and nutrition studies; all participants were freed from cancer and heart condition when the studies began.
The favourable association with eating tofu regularly was found primarily in young women before menopause or postmenopausal women who weren't taking hormones.
"Despite these findings, I don't think tofu is by any means a magic bullet. Overall diet quality is still critical to consider, and tofu can be a very healthy component," said study lead author Qi Sun from Harvard University.
Soymilk, on the other hand, tends to be highly processed and is usually sweetened with sugar.
The study found no significant association between soymilk consumption and lower heart condition risk.
"Other human trials and animal studies of isoflavones, tofu and cardiovascular risk markers have also indicated positive effects, so people with an elevated risk of developing heart disease should evaluate their diets," Sun said.
"Tofu and other isoflavone-rich, plant-based foods are excellent protein sources and alternatives to animal proteins," he added.
For the study, researchers analysed health data of quite 74,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS).
The researchers emphasized that the study should be interpreted with caution because their observations found a relationship but didn't prove causality.
Many other factors can influence the event of heart condition, including workout, case history and an individuals lifestyle habits, they added.